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v'GES   Of    THE    BORE 

COFFEE  ESTATES 


Special 
Collect. 
SB608 
C58B53 


TIE  D.  H.  HILL  LIBRyPY 

NORTH    GftOLIfM    ST4TE    COLLEGE 


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ENTOMOLOGIC4L  COLLECTION 


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REPORT 


0>r   TUE 


RAVAGES  OF  THE  BORER 


COFFEE   ESTATES, 


REVIEW  OF  THE  EXISTING  SYSTEMS  OF  COFFEE  CULTURE, 


AND 


SUGGESTIONS  FOR  THE  FURTHER 
DEVELOPMENT 

OF  THE 

PRODUCTIVE  RESOURCES  OF  THE  COFFEE  DISTRICTS 
IN  SOUTHERN  INDIA 


GEORGE  BIDIE,  M.B.  F.R.G.S. 

SURGEON,  MADRAS  ARMY. 

COMMISSIONER  FOR  INVESTIGATING  THE  RAVAGES  OF  THE  EOK:Jli 
IN  COFFEE  ESTATES. 


MADRAS: 
GANTZ   BROTHERS, 

ADELPHI  PliESS,   175,   MOUNT  ROAD. 
1869. 


CONTENTS. 


Chap.  Page. 
I. — Origin  and  Development  op  Coffee  Culture  in  South- 
ern India...                ...                ...                ...  ...  l 

Mysore ...                 ..                  ...                 ...  ...  3 

Cuddoor                   ...                 ...                 ...  ,..3 

Munzerabad              ...                 ...                 ...  ...  4 

Coorg    ...                 ...                 ...                 ...  ...  5 

Wynaad                    ...                 ...                 ...  ...  6 

General  Remarks     ...                 ...                 ...  ,4.  8 

Brazil...                    ...                 ...                 ...  ...  g 

Java      ...                 ...                 ...                 ...  ,,,  9 

Ceylon...                  ...                  ...                  ...  ...  10 

Exports  of  Coffee  from  Southern  India           ..  ...  10 

Labour  law               ...                  ...                  ...  ...  II 

II. — Climate,    Soil,    and    Elevation    required    for  Coffee 

Culture  ...                ...                ...                ...  ...  n 

III. — Sketch  of  the  Physical  Geography  of  the  Coffee  Dis- 
tricts in  Southern  India,  with  reference  to  Coffee 
Culture,  including  effects  of  Forest  destruction     ,,.  15 
Mysore...                 ...                 ...                 ...  -#t  ig 

Munzerabad              ...                   ..                ...  ...  17 

Coorg  ...                 ...                 ...                 ...  ...  18 

Wynaad                   ...                 ...                 ...  ...  23 

Effects  of  destruction  of  forest  on  climate,  &c.  ...  26 

Suggestions  as  to  forest  conservancy  in  Coffee  zone  ...  28 
IV. — Eeview  of  the  present  state  and  of    the   systems   of 

Coffee  Culture  in  Southern  India           ...  ...  29 

Natural  and  Artificial  shade       ...                  ...  ...  3 1 

Shade  trees               ...                 ...                 ...  ...  32 

Culture  in  open  ground               ...                 ...  ...  34 

General  remarks       ...                 ...                 ...  ...  35 

Usual  mode  of  planting               ...                 ...  ...  36 

Weeding                   ...                 ...                 ...  ...  36 

Digging                    ...                 ...                 ...  ...  37 


W^ 


Chap.  Page. 

Draining                    .,.                   ...                  ...  ...  37 

Pruning                     ...                   ...                   ...  ...  38 

Manuring                   ...                   ...                   ...  ...  39 

General  review  of  state  and  systems  of  Coffee  culture  ...  41 
V. — Natural  History  of  the  Borer,   and    review   of   the 

CAUSES    THAT    HAVE     RENDERED     IT    SO    NUMEROUS    AND    DE- 
STRUCTIVE...                      ...                         ..                           ...  ...  43 

General  History  of  the  insect      ...  ...  ..45 

Symptoms  of  the  presence  of  Borer  in  a  tree  ...  ,.  47 

Inj  uries  inflicted  by  the  larva      ...                  ...  ...  48 

Is  the  Borer  indigenous  ?             ...                  ...  ...  49 

Causes  that  have  rendered  the  Borer  so  numerous  ...  50 
VI. — Historical  account  and   Statistics   of  the   ravages   of 

the  Borer                  ...                ...                 ...  ...  53 

Nuggur...                 ...                 ...                 ...  ...  56 

Munzerabad              ...                   ..                  ...  ..•  56 

Coorg    ...                  ...                  ...                  ...  ...  57 

Wynaad...                  ...                  ...                  ...  ...  59 

VII. — Preventive  and  Remedial  measures  for  the  kavages  of 

the  Borer                   ...                 ...                 ...  ...  61 

Remedial  measures    ...                  ...                  ...  ...  62 

Preventive  measures...                  ...                  •-.  ...  63 

VIII. — Friends  and  Foes  of  the  Coffee  plant      ..  ...  64 

Cattle  trespass         ...                  ...                  ...  ...  7 1 

Red  Borer                 ...                  ...                  ...                  ...  74 

Agrotis  segetum       ...                  , .                   ...  ...  75 

Bug       ...                 ...                 ...                 ...                  ...  77 

IX. — Diseases  to  which  the  Coffee  plant  is  liable            ...  79 

Stump  rot                 ...                  ...                  ...                 ...  79 

Rot        ...                 ...                 ...                 ...                 ...  80 

X. — Other  plants  which  may  be  cultivated  in  the  Coffee  zone.  81 

XI. — Future  prospects  of  Coffee  culture  in  Southern  India.  90 


INDEX. 


Acreage  assessment  in  Coorg         

Agrotis  segetum 

Air,  humidity  of,  in  Coorg 

Do.       do.         of,  in  Kandy 

Ants,  red,  often  prey  on  Borer 
Bababoodens 

Ball  planting 

Bamboo  land 

Beetle,  Borer  

Benefits  resulting  from  Coffee  culture... 

Birds 

Borer,  larva        

Do.    general  history  of 

Do.     beetle,  when  most  plentiful    ... 

Do.       do.     term  of  existence 

Do.    insect?  term  of  existence  in  all  its  stages 

Do.     is  it  indigenous  ? 

Do.    not  likely  to  disappear 

Do,     of  charcoal  tree 

Boehmeria  nivea..  

Bug 

Bullock,  &c,  trespass    ... 
Cannon's  estate 

Capital  invested  in  Coffee  culture 
Castor-oil  plant,  as  shade... 

Do.  do.     culture  of 

Cattle  trespass  ...         

Causes  of  Borer  ... 

Ceylon,  Coffee  planting  in 

Charcoal  tree       

Chocolate  tree         ...         

Cinchona  on  Bababoodens 
Cinchona,  culture  of 
Clearing  by  piling  ... 

Do.     by  burning... 
Climate,  &c,  required  for  Coffee 

Clytus  

Coffea  arabica     


...  r 

..   5 

75 

..  22 

... 

22 

..  49 

16 

... 

..  36 

... 

12 

... 

..  43 

8 

...  65 

44 

..  45 

4 

5&47 

... 

..  46 

47 

..  49 

50 

..  73 

82 

..  77 

71 

2 



8&9 

..  32 

84 

... 

..  71 



50 

... 

..  10 

32 

..  87 



17 

... 

..  87 

31 

31&35 

11 

43 

... 

1 

11 

Page. 

Coffee  plant,  native  of  Abyssinia 1 

Do.    introduction  of,  into  India       ...         ...  1 

Do.    culture,  present  state  of,  in  Southern  India        29 

Do.        do.       systems  of,  in  Southern  India          29 

Coleoptera...             72 

Coorg       18 

Do.    average  elevation  of            19 

Do.    progress  of  Coffee  culture  in     ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  5 

Do.    ravages  of  Borer  in             ..          57 

Culture,  high,  advantages  of 42 

Digging         37 

Do.      value  of,  in  clay  soils...         ...         37 

Do.      how  beneficial       ...         ...         ...  37 

Do.      season  for         ...         ...  37 

Do.      forked  mamoty  should  be  used  for        37 

Diseases  of  Coffee  plant 79 

Districts  of  the  Coffee  zone 16 

Draining  ... ...         ...  37 

Draining,  value  of 37 

Drains,  size  of ...         ...         ...         ...  37 

Elevation  required  for  Coffee  culture       12 

Enemies  of  Coffee  plant           ...         ...         55 

Errors  in  Coffee  culture      41 

Export  of  Coffee  from  Ceylon 10 

from  Coorg          ...         6 

from  Cuddoor           4 

from  India          10 

from  Java      ...         9 

from  Munzerabad          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  4 

from  Shemoga         ...         ...         ...         3 

from  Wynaad      ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  7 

Exposure  required  for  Coffee  culture .. .         ...         ...  12 

Farm-yard  manure 40 

Foes  of  Coffee  plant       69 

Forest  conservancy  in  Coffee  zone •••         28 

Do.     dense,  sign  of  land  suited  for  Coffee 14 

Do.     destruction,  effects  of,  on  climate...         ...         ...         •■•         •••  26 

Do.            do.           do.          on  fauna          ...         ...         ...         ...  28 

Do-             do.            do.           on  flora      ...         ...          28 

Do.            do.            do.          on  food  supplies        28 

Do.            do.            do.          on  health ...         ...  28 

Do.     effects  of,  on  rain  in  Coffee  zone         ...         ...         ...         ...  26 

Do.    land 12 

Friends  of  Coffee  plant 64 

Do.      and  foes  of  Coffee  plant 65 

Goa tweed,  analysis  of,  note      21 

Grass-cloth  plant,  Chinese 81 

Guano     ... 40 

Hand  weeding         ...        ...        36 


Do. 

do. 

Do. 

do. 

Do. 

do. 

Do. 

do. 

Do. 

do. 

Do. 

do. 

Do. 

do. 

Ill 

Page. 

Historical  account  of  ravages  of  Borer         53 

Homoptera    ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  76 

Injuries  to  stem  and  root  from  Borer...          ...  48 

Insect,  foes  of  Coffee           ...         ...         ...         72 

Do.     friends  of  Coffee 68 

Irrigation  for  Coffee            35 

Jackal,  ravages  of          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  70 

Java,  Coffee  planting  in      ...         ...         ...         9 

Do.    exports  of  Coffee  from  ...         ...         ...          ...         ...         ...  9 

Labour  law,  defect  in          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  H 

Do.     success  of  planting  dependent  on  supply      ...         ...         ...  11 

Land  for  Coffee,  regulations  for  granting ...         ...         ...  15 

Langour...          80 

Larva,  Borer            44 

Lecanium  eaffese            ...         ...         ...  77 

Lepidoptera...          ...  73 

Lethargy ...          ...         ...         ...         ...  80 

Lichens  and  Mosses ...         ...         81 

Lime        ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         40 

Locust,  Coffee           73 

Manihot  utilissima         88 

Manuring      ...         ...         ...         ...         39 

Do.        much  neglected         '       39 

Do.        necessity  for        ...         39 

Do.         season  for       ...         39 

Manures,  natural  and  artificial      ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  40 

Do,       table  of ,  and  quantities  to  be  applied        ...  40 

Mercara,  elevation,  &c,  of ...         ...         ...  19 

Monkeys 69 

Mungoos        ...         ...         ...         65 

Munzerabad        17 

Do.         elevation  of    ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         18 

Do.         ravages  of  Borer  in          56 

Musa  textilis           ...         84 

Mysore,  physical  geography  of 16 

Do.      progress  of  Coffee  culture  in       ...  3 

Natural  History  of  Borer         ..          , 43 

New-Zealand  Flax...           83 

North  Wynaad...           24 

Nuggur          16 

Do.     ravages  of  Borer  in     56 

Nutmeg,  culture  of             89 

Open  ground,  culture  of  Coffee  in       34 

Origin  and  development  of   Coffee  culture  in  Southern  India 1 

Orthoptera        ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         p#f         <<#  73 

Ova  of  Borer  beetle 44 

Do.         do.      number  of       45 

Do.         do.      development  of     45 

Do.        do.      hatching  of                 46 


Page. 

Ova  of  Borer  Beetle  when  deposited       ...          46 

Ovipositor         ...         ...         ...         •••         ...          ...         ...         ...  44 

Ouchterlony  Valley ...           26 

Pbormium  tenax            ...          ...         ...          ...         ...  83 

Physical  Geography  of  Coffee  Districts 15 

Planting,  usual  mode  of ...         ...         ...  36 

Plantain,  Manilla 84 

Plants  for  culture  in  Coffee  Districts 81 

Preventive  measures  for  Borer      ...         ...  ...         ...         ...         G1&63 

Products  of  Coorg          23 

Do.       of  Munzerabad 18 

Do.       of  Nuggur       17 

Prospects  of  Coffee  culture  ...  11  &  90 

Pruning    ...          ...          ...          ...          ...          ...          •••  38 

Do.      effects  of  bad        39 

Do.      season  for         ...         ...          39 

Pulneys,  planting  on          ...         ...         ...          ...         •..         ...         ...  8 

Pupa  of  Borer      ..         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  44 

Do.         do.     term  of  existence  of          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  47 

Pupse  often  perish         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  47 

Rainfall  necessary  for  Coffee          ...         ...         ...         ...          ...         ...  13 

Do.     on  Bababoodens ...         16 

Do.     in  Coorg      20  &  22 

Bo.     at  Kandy,  Ceylon        22 

Do.     in  Munzerabad       ...         ...          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  18 

Do.     in  North  Wynaad       ... 24 

Do.     in  South  "Wyuaad ...  25 

Eats        70 

Red  Borer 74 

Remedial  measures  for  ravages  of  Borer        ...         ...  62 

Reptiles         68 

Ricinus  Communis        ...         "•         84 

Ringer          75 

Ring  on  bark,  as  sign  of  Borer            46 

Rot 38&79 

Seasons  in  Coorg 22 

Do.       in  Munzerabad       ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  18 

Shade,  artificial  ...         ..           ...          ...         ...         ...          ...         ...  31 

Do.     natural          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  31 

Do.     culture  in  Java  and  Brazil       ...          ...         ...         30 

Do.     culture,  advantages  and  disadvantages  of           32 

Do.     effects  of,  on  Coffee       ...         ...  32 

Do.     kind  of,  for  certain  localities        ...           ...         ...         ...         ...  34 

Do.     reasons  for  use  of,  in  Southern  India 31 

Do.     trees 7T.  32 

Soils  for  Coffee  culture            .7.         13 

Squirrels       ...         ,.,  71 

Statistics  of  ravages  of  the  Borer        56 


Page. 

Stump  rot 79 

Syncladium  Nietneri 7S 

Tapioca  culture        ...         ...         ...         ...         ...          ...  88 

Taxation  of  coffee  culture,  Haulet  system     ...         ...          ...         ...  1 

Tea  culture               86 

Tea  in  Coorg      22 

Theabroma  cacao     ...          ...         ...         .,,         ...         ...         ...         ...  87 

Trees  suitable  for  shade           ...         ...          ,..         ...         ...         .  .  32 

Topping,  reasons  for            38 

Triposporium  Gardueri             ...         ...         ...         ...         ...          ...  78 

Tunnel  of  Borer        ...         ...          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  46 

Weeding  and  weeds       ...         ...         ...  36 

Do.     during  monsoon  ...         ...         37 

Do.     to  be  done  more  frequently             37 

Weeds  killed  by  Sweet  Potato      36 

Weeds  should  be  buried  or  burnt       37 

Wynaad         23 

Wynaad,  introduction  of  Coffee  into ...  6 

Do.        mean  elevation  of           ...         23 

Do.       progress  of  Coffee  planting  in         6 

Do.       ravages  of  Borer  in         ...         ...         ...         ...         59 

Xylotrechus  quadrupes            ...         ...         ...         ...  43 

Zone,  coffee,  situation,  &c...          15 

Zeuzera  coffeophaga      ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  74 


Madras,  3rd  August  1868. 
From 

Surgeon  George  Bidie,  m.b., 

To 

The  Honorable  R.  S.  Ellis,  c.b., 

Chief  Secretary  to  Government, 

Fort  St.  George. 

Sir, — I  have  the  honor  to  forward,  for  the  information  of  Govern- 
ment, the  following  report  on  the  ravages  of  the  Borer  in  Coffee 
Estates,  which  1  was  directed  to  undertake  in  G.  O.,  Public  Depart- 
ment, No.  1311,  dated  22nd  October  1867.  To  avoid  repetition, 
and  bring  the  whole  of  my  remarks  together,  I  have  thought  it  bet- 
ter to  prepare  one  general  Report,  instead  of  a  distinct  one  for 
each  district ;  and  trust  that  this  will  meet  with  the  approval  of  the 
authorities  to  whom  it  is  addressed.  As  the  investigation  progress- 
ed, I  found  it  absolutely  necessary,  in  order  to  arrive  at  satisfactory 
conclusions,  to  consider  nearly  every  point  connected  with  Coffee 
culture,  and,  to  render  this  communication  complete,  it  will  be 
necessary  to  review  the  several  matters  that  occupied  my  attention. 

I  have,  &c, 

GEORGE  BIDIE,  M.B., 

Commissioner  for  Investigating  the  ravages  of  the 

Borer  in  Coffee  Estates. 


REPORT 

ON    THE 

RAVAGES  OF  THE  BORER  IN  COFFEE  ESTATES. 


I.— ORIGIN  AND  DEVELOPMENT  OF  COFFEE  CULTURE  IN 
SOUTHERN  INDIA. 

The  Coffee  plant  cultivated  in  Southern  India  is  the  Cojfea 
Arabica,  and  a  native  of  Cafta  in  Southern  Abyssinia.  Several 
varieties  exist,  but  none  of  them  differs  sufficiently  from  the  original 
to  entitle  it  to  the  rank  of  a  distinct  species.  Some  of  the  plants 
have  been  raised  from  seed  brought  from  Ceylon ;  but  coffee  was 
first  introduced  into  India  upwards  of  two  centuries  ago  by  a 
Mussulman  pilgrim,  Bababooden.  This  man,  on  his  return  from 
Mecca,  brought  a  few  berries  in  his  wallet,  and  taking  up  his  abode 
amid  the  fastnesses  of  the  hills  in  Mysore  that  still  bear  his  name, 
planted  them  near  his  hut.  The  trees  raised  from  these  were 
gradually  multiplied,  and  no  doubt  the  greater  portion  of  the  coffee 
now  growing  in  Southern  India  has  been  derived  from  this  stock. 
For  a  long  time  subsequent  to  its  introduction,  the  cultivation  of  the 
plant  does  not  seem  to  have  extended  beyond  the  Fakeer's  garden, 
and  it  is  only  within  the  last  sixty  or  seventy  years  that  it  has  been 
taken  up  in  other  parts  of  the  country.  Indeed,  while  Mysore  was 
under  Native  rule,  no  encouragement  was  given  for  its  extension,  and 
the  cultivator  was  fettered  with  oppressive  taxes  levied  hy  men  who 
farmed  the  revenue.  When  the  country  lame  under  British  rule 
things  were  changed  for  the  better,  and  what  is  called  the  Haulet 
system  introduced.  Under  this  the  planter  pays  a  duty  on  every 
maund  of  produce,  and  it  is  curious  to  notice  how  coffee  culture  has 
extended  as  the  rate  of  taxation  has  been  reduced,  and  other  liberal 
measures  brought  into  operation. 

No  doubt  the  greatest  stimulus  has  been  given  to  it  by  the 
increased  value  of  the  produce  ;   a  hundred- weight  of  coffee  at  the 

1 

D.  R  HILL  LIBRARY 


present  day,  being  worth  double  what  it  was  some  jTears  ago.  In 
3848,  in  Ceylon,  a  hundred- weight  of  native  coffee  was  sold  for  the 
same  price  as  a  bushel  of  rice,  viz.,  4§  Kupees,  and  about  the  same 
time  estate  coffee  from  Wynaad  was  selling  on  the  coast  for  1 7  Eupees 
the  hundred-weight.  At  present,  estate  coffee  is  worth  from  30  to 
84  Rupees  the  hundred-weight,  and  although  the  working  expenses 
of  estates  have  greatly  increased  of  late,  still  the  rise  is  insignificant 
as  compared  with  the  marvellous  improvement  in  prices.  About 
forty  years  ago  coffee  culture  in  Southern  India  was  entirely  in  the 
hands  of  Natives,  but  since  that  period,  it  has  been  gradually  taken 
up  by  the  more  enterprising  and  energetic  European.  One  of  the 
first  in  the  field  was  Mr.  Cannon,  and  his  estate,  situated  on  a  high 
range  immediately  to  the  south  of  the  Bababoodens,  is  still  in 
existence,  the  original  coffee  plants  flourishing  under  the  shade  of 
the  primitive  jungle.  Some  years  after,  several  estates  were 
opened  in  the  Wynaad,  and  on  the  Neilgherries,  but  for  a  consid- 
erable period,  operations  hardly  extended  beyond  the  stage  of 
experiment.  From  ten  to  twelve  years  ago,  the  high  price  of  land, 
and  flourishing  state  of  coffee  culture  in  Ceylon,  induced  planters  from 
that  island  to  come  over  to  India,  and  their  presence  and  efforts 
gave  a  great  impetus  to  coffee  culture.  The  demand  for  land 
rapidly  grew  in  every  part  of  the  coffee  districts,  and  as  capitalists 
had  full  confidence  in  the  success  of  planting,  estates  multiplied  and 
extended  their  acreage  very  rapidly.  Throughout  1860  and  1861, 
there  was  a  perfect  mania  for  planting,  extravagant  ideas  of  the 
profits  to  be  reaped  from  it  having  taken  possession  of  the  public 
mind,  while  such  contingencies  as  bad  seasons,  appear  to  have  been 
entirely  forgotten.  Men  of  moderate  means  joined  in  buying  land 
and  invested  their  hard-won  savings  without  a  doubt  as  to  success, 
while  others  of  greater  ambition  established  Joint  Stock  Companies, 
spent  lakhs  in  the  purchase  of  ready-made  estates,  and  pleased  their 
own  minds  and  those  of  the  other  shareholders,  with  visions  of  fifty  or 
sixty  per  cent,  of  profit.  As  might  have  been  foreseen,  such  extra  va- 
g  nt  hopes  have  never  been  realised,  the  anticipated  fortunes  having 
i  jtreated  far  away  into  the  future,  and  the  fifty  or  sixty  per  cent,  dwin- 
dled down  to  five  or  six.  In  many  cases,  indeed,  these  adventures 
have,  from  various  causes,  proved  complete  failures,  the  balance  alwa}<  s 
being  on  the  wrong  side ;  and  taking  them  as  a  whole,  the  results 
have  been  such  as  to  render  the  public   distrustful  of  coffee  culture 


as  a  safe  or  profitable  investment,  and  to  lower  greatly  the  value  of 
estates. 

Mysore : — The  success  of  Mr.  Cannon's  experiment  gradually 
induced  others  to  follow  in  his  footsteps,  the  fine  old  estates  of 
Igoor  and  Hulhully  being  the  next  in  succession  as  regards  age  in 
the  Mysore  territory.  Around  them  as  centres  others  have,  within 
the  last  twelve  or  fifteen  years,  rapidly  sprung  up,  until  at  the 
present  day  there  is  nearly  a  continuous  chain  of  estates  from  the 
northern  slopes  of  the  Bababoodens,  to  the  southern  limit  of 
Munzerabad. 

The  coffee  districts  in  Mysore  lie  in  the  Nuggur  and  Astragam 
Divisions.  There  are  also  a  few  holdings  in  the  Nundidroog  Divi- 
sion, but  so  small,  that  they  do  not  require  any  notice  here.  As 
regards  Nuggur,  the  coffee-producing  districts  are  two  in  number, 
viz.,  Shemoga  and  Ouddoor.  The  extent  of  land  taken  up  for  its 
culture  in  the  former  is  not  exactly  known,  but  the  following  state- 
ment of  the  exports  of  coffee  from  the  district,  during  the  last  eleven 
years,  shows  how  rapid  the  development  of  this  branch  of  industry 
has  been ;  the  produce  last  season  having  been  more  than  ten  times 
what  it  was  in  1857-58  : — 

Exports  of  Coffee  from  the  Shemoga  District,  from  1857-58  to  1867-68. 


Years. 

Coffee. 

Candies. 

Maimds. 

Seer3. 

Tolahs. 

1857-58      

30 

3 

35 

0 

1858-59      ... 



48 

7 

25 

0 

1859-60      ... 



125 

12 

23 

0 

1860-61      ... 



177 

10 

18 

0 

1861-62      ...     . 

. .     ...     ■ 

159 

18 

39 

0 

1862-63      ... 

. .     ... 

. , 

297 

9 

1 

14 

1863-64      ... 

. .     ... 

. , 

208 

6 

10 

10 

1864-65      ... 

. .     ... 

, , 

409 

6 

24 

16 

1865-66      ... 

. .     ... 

222 

3 

0 

10 

1866-67      .., 

. .     ... 

52 

19 

17 

6 

1867-68      ... 



... 

336 

9 

23 

18 

In  Cudcloor,  7,302  acres  have  been  secured  by  Europeans,  and 
74,674  acres  by  Natives  for  coffee  planting,  but  the  export   returns 
do  not  show  the  remarkable  increase  in  the  produce  observable  in 
the  Shemoga   return.    On  the  contrary,  it  is  so  uniform,  the  fluctu- 
ations that   appear  being  nothing  more  than  what  might  be  occa- 


sioned    by  differences  in    seasons,  that  we  may  infer,  that  coffee 
culture  in  this  district  has  been  nearly  stationaiy  for  the  last  ten 

years : — 

Exports  of  Coffee  from  the  Cud  door  District,  from  1858-59  to  1867-68. 


Y 


ears. 


1858-59 
1859-60 
1860-61 
1861-62 
1862-63 
1863-64 
1864-65 
1S65-66 
1866-67 
1867-68 


Coffee. 


Maunds. 

1,37,889 
2,21,803 
1,80,557 
1,83,781 
2,45,754 
2,73,358 
2,20,147 
2,45,989 
55,292 
2,39,628 


Seers. 

6 

13 
23 

2 
11 
26 

7 
15 
18 


Tolahs. 

0 

8 
12 

0 

0 

0 

9 
19 

0 

5 


In  both  statements  the  effects  of  the  bad  season  of  1866-67  are 
very  noticeable  ;  but  the  large  returns  in  the  following  year  show 
that  the  depression  was  only  temporary,  and  that  very  many  trees 
were  not  destroyed  by  the  Borer.  In  Munzerabad,  situated  in  the 
Astragam  District,  there  is  a  greater  extent  of  land  in  the  hands  of 
Europeans,  the  amount  being  22,385  acres,  while  Native  proprietors 
hold  28,351  acres.  The  whole  of  this  is  not  under  cultivation,  but 
we  may  fairly  assume  that  about  three-fourths  of  the  entire  area 
have  been  reclaimed.  The  folio  win  g  table  gives  the  weight  of  coffee 
exported,  during  the  last  nine  years,  and  shows  that  the  culture  has 
gradual^  been  increasing: — 

Exports  of  Coffee  from  the  Munzerabad  District,  from  1858-59  to  1866-67. 


Y  e  ars. 

Coffee. 

Years. 

Coffee. 

1858-59      

1859-60      

1860-61      

1861-62      

1862-63      

Mauuds. 

38,954 
63,444 
91,458 
84,580 
1,21,534 

1863-64 

1864-65  

1865-66 

1866-67 

Maunds. 

1,59,834 
1,42,365 
1,60,184 
1,16,580 

The  revenue  from  coffee  land  in  Mysore  is  derived  from  a  duty 
of  one-fourth  of  a  rupee  on  each  maund  (28  lbs.)  of  produce,  so  that 


the  State,  as  well  as  the  cultivator  gains  bjr  good,  and  loses  by  bad 
seasons.  A  good  deal  might  be  said  in  favour  of  a  change  to  the 
acreage  assessment ;  but  on  the  other  hand,  the  existing  system 
seems  to  answer  on  the  whole  very  well,  and  is  certainly  very 
acceptable  to  the  planters. 

Coorg  : — In  Coorg,  lying  immediately  to  the  south  of  Munzera- 
bad,  coffee  was  introduced  in  the  days  of  the  Rajahs  by  a  Mahomme- 
dan  fakeer,  who  is  said  by  some  to  have  brought  the  seed  from  the 
Bababoodens,  and  by  others  from  Mocha.  However  this  may  be, 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  plant  has  been  cultivated  there  in 
native  gardens  for  more  than  fifty  j^ears,  and  there  are  small  native 
holdings  near  the  Nalkanad  Palace,  in  which  the  plants  are  from 
twenty  to  twenty-five  years  old.  About  twelve  or  thirteen  years 
ago,  European  planters  began  to  enter  the  province,  and,  during  the 
last  eight  years,  their  number  has  rapidly  increased.  At  the  same 
time  the  natives  of  Coorg,  prompted  by  their  example,  have  eagerly 
embarked  in  coffee  culture,  and  now  even  every  spare  bit  of  ground 
about  their  cottages  is  stocked  with  the  plant.  At  present,  47,572 
acres  are  held  by  Europeans,  and  24,638  acres  by  Natives  as  coffee 
land,  but  as  the  rules  for  assessment  do  not  make  any  distinction 
between  cultivated  and  uncultivated,  it  is  impossible  to  say  how 
much  has  actually  been  planted.  Probably  40,000  acres  would  be 
quite  within  the  mark.  Formerly,  as  in  Mysore,  the  revenue  from 
coffee  culture  in  Coorg  was  levied  by  a  tax  on  the  produce  ;  but 
four  years  ago,  on  the  petition  of  the  planters,  an  acreage  assess- 
ment was  substituted  for  the  old  system.  Under  this,  during  the 
first  four  years  of  tenure,  the  land  is  held  free,  but  thereafter,  up  to 
nine  years,  there  is  an  annual  tax  of  1  Rupee  per  acre,  and  subse- 
quently a  tax  of  2  Rupees  per  acre  in  perpetuity.  All  land  taken 
up  for  coffee,  no  matter  whether  cultivated  or  not,  is  subject  to 
these  conditions,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  s}7stem  pre- 
vents speculators  from  acquiring  jungle  with  the  view  of  selling  it 
in  after-years  at  a  profit,  and  stimulates  planters  to  cultivate  their 
land  carefully  in  order  to  render  it  as  profitable  as  possible. 

The  following  Statement  exhibits  the  number  of  maunds  of 
coffee  exported  from  Coorg  during  the  last  eleven  years,  and,  judg- 
ing from  that,  it  will  be  observed  that  the  cultivation  has  extended 
very  rapidly  during  that  period.  In  the  season  1857-58,  the  total 
exports  only  amounted  to  46,336  maunds,  while  ten  years  after  they 
reached  260,000  maunds,  or  more  than  five  times  as  much  :  and  it 


6 


must  be  recollected  that  even  yet  a  great  many  estates  have  not 
come  into  full  bearing  : — 

Statement  of  Exports  of  Coffee  from  Coorg.from  1857-58  to  1867-6S. 


Years, 

Coffee. 

Tears. 

Coffee. 

Maunds. 

Maunds. 

1857-58      

46,336 

1863-64 

2,34,182 

1858-59      

66,862 

1864-65  

2,40,000 

1859-60      

1,11,768 

1865-66   

2,50,000 

1860-61      

1,28,412 

1866-67 

2,60,000 

1861-62      

1,53,781 

1867-68 

2,40,000 

1862-63      

1,40,113 

Wynaad  and  Neilgherries  : — Coffee  has  been  cultivated  on  the 
slopes  of  the  Neilgherries  for  about  thirty  years.  The  extent  of  land 
suited  for  the  purpose  is  rather  limited,  and  there  is  no  probability 
of  the  acreage  now  under  culture  being  greatly  increased.  Many 
3?ears  ao"0  Dr.  Gardner  gave  it  as  his  opinion  that  the  eastern  flank 
of  the  chain  would,  owing  to  the  dry  nature  of  the  climate,  be 
found  unsuited  for  coffee  culture,  and  certainly  experiments  on  that 
aspect  have  not,  as  a  whole,  been  very  successful.  One  or  two 
estates  have  no  doubt  been  very  productive,  but  they  have  been 
made  so  at  an  enormous  expense,  and  taking  everything  into 
account,  have  not  probably  been  very  remunerative.  On  the  west- 
ern face  of  the  chain,  the  monsoon  beats  with  such  violence  that 
it  would  be  quite  useless  to  attempt  the  culture  of  coffee  on  that  side. 

Coffee  and  Tea  plants  were  introduced  into  Wynaad  about  forty 
3Tears  ago  by  a  Major  Bevan,  who  commanded  the  Wynaad  Rangers. 
He  did  not  take  up  the  cultivation  to  any  extent,  but  merely  put 
down  some  plants  by  way  of  experiment  in  a  garden  at  Manan tod- 
dy. These  throve  remarkably  well,  and  having  been  seen  b}'  a 
Mr.  Glasson  in  1838,  induced  him  to  think  of  planting  on  a  larger 
scale.  Accordingly,  in  1840,  he  began  operations  and  opened  out 
on  a  hill  in  Mauantoddy  the  first  estate  in  Wynaad.  In  1842,  Mr. 
King,  Agent  for  Messrs.  Parry  and  Company,  Mr.  Baber,  a  retired 
Bombay  Civilian,  the  Messrs.  Morris,  Captain  Pope,  Dr.  Magrath, 
and  several  others  entered  the  district.  Nearly  all  the  land  taken 
up  at  this  period  was  what  is  known  as  grass,  or  bamboo  land,  and 
in  consequence  most  of  the  estates  proved  unprofitable,  and  of  many 
of  them  not  a  trace — save  the  ruins  of  bungalows — remains  at  the 


present  day.  After  a  few  years  those  pioneers  who  had  come  in 
with  such  high  hopes  began  to  leave,  and  by  1850  only  Mr.  Glasson 
and  Messrs.  Pany  and  Company's  Agent  remained  in  the  district. 
They  had  by  this  time  moved  into  South  Wynaad,  and  it  must 
have  required  no  little  courage  to  hold  on,  when  thus  deserted  by 
neighbours,  in  a  wild  district  almost  totally  unprovided  with  roads, 
and  containing  no  villages  from  which  sufficient  supplies  could  be 
obtained.  For  some  years  after  this  crisis,  coffee  culture  made  very 
little  progress  in  Wynaad  ;  but  about  1855,  a  second  rush  to  the 
district  began,  and  the  new  arrivals  seem  to  have  vied  with  each 
other  as  to  who  would  acquire  most  land,  and  open  it  out  the  fastest. 
Apparently  there  was  in  some  cases  at  this  period  a  good  deal  of 
injudicious  haste  manifested  in  the  selection  of  land,  and  this, 
coupled  with  the  ignorance  of  the  new  comers  regarding  the  soil 
and  climate  of  Wynaad,  led  to  many  of  the  estates  proving  absolute 
failures.  Between  1855  and  1865,  the  acreage  under  culture  wTas 
rapidly  extended,  but  since  the  latter  elate,  owing  to  the  alarm 
about  the  Borer,  there  has  been  comparatively  little  increase.  In 
reviewing  the  whole  history  of  coffee  culture  in  Wynaad,  it  is  very 
remarkable  how  little  heed  one  man  has  taken  of  the  mistakes  of 
another,  and  hence  we  find  hopeless  experiments  repeated  over  and 
over  again.  According  to  returns  received  from  the  local  authorities, 
there  are  29,909*08  acres  under  coffee  in  Wynaad,  of  which  2J,479'54 
acres  are  held  by  Europeans,  and  8,429*54  acres  held  by  Natives. 
The  small  area  owned  by  the  latter  class  is  very  remarkable,  as 
compared  with  what  is  held  by  them  in  the  other  districts.  I  have 
not  been  able  to  get  a  return  of  the  actual  amount  of  coffee 
exported  annually  from  Wynaad,  but  the  following  table,  which 
gives  the  quantities  shipped  on  the  Malabar  Coast  during  the  past 
twelve  years,  must  contain  nearly  the  whole  of  the  crops,  as  very 
little  would  pass  out  by  Mysore  and  Coimbatore  : — 

Statement  shoicing  the  amount  in  Cwts.  of  Coffee  grown  in  Wynaad,  exported 
from  the  Ports  of  Malabar. 


Years. 

Coffee. 

Years. 

Coffee. 

1856-57      

1857-58       

1858-59       

1859-60      

1860-61       

1861-62      

Cwts. 

32,658 
20,416 
36,934 
49,680 
48,742 
91,080 

1862-63      

1863-64      

1864-65      

1865-66 

1866-67      

1867-68      

Cwts. 

43,907 

91,947 

110,548 

125,891 

66,552 

128,021 

8 

Of  late  years  coffee  culture  has  also  been  begun  on  the 
Travancore  Hills,  which  in  climate  and  other  natural  advantages 
seem  greatly  to  resemble  the  coffee  districts  in  Ceylon.  The  Pulney 
Hills  in  Madura  are  also  said  to  offer  suitable  sites  for  estates,  but, 
judging  from  their  position  and  botanical  peculiarities,  the  dry 
season  will  probably  prove  too  trying  to  permit  of  the  plants  being 
profitably  cultivated. 

General  Remarks : — It  will  thus  be  seen  that  coffee  estates 
extend  in  nearly  unbroken  chain  along  the  crests  and  slopes  of  the 
Ghats,  from  the  northern  limit  of  Mysore,  down  to  Cape  Comorin. 
Hill  sides  and  ravines,  but  lately  the  favourite  haunts  of  the 
elephant  and  bison,  have  been  stript  of  their  covering  of  grand  old 
forest,  and  vast  solitudes  converted  into  scenes  of  busy  industry  ; 
and  wherever  the  planter  has  gone,  there  is  gradually  following  in 
his  track  a  net-work  of  imperial  roads,  along  which  hamlets  and 
villages  are  springing  into  existence,  so  that  in  a  few  years  these 
once  pathless  jungles  will  be  quite  accessible  and  possessed  of  a 
considerable  population.  The  benefits  that  will  flow  from  this 
influx  of  European  enterprise  and  capital  must,  ultimately,  be  very 
oreat.  Every  estate  opened  up  may  be  regarded  as  a  fresh  centre 
of  civilisation,  a  new  source  of  revenue,  and  additional  means  of 
livelihood  for  the  labouring  classes.  At  the  same  time  it  must  be 
recollected  that  coffee  culture  is  still,  so  to  speak,  but  in  its  infancy 
in  Southern  India;  that  many  planters  have  had  little  or  no  previous 
experience  in  their  occupation  ;  that  they  have  had  to  contend  with 
various  difficulties  inseparable  from  the  early  days  of  all  such 
undertakings,  and  that,  therefore,  we  cannot  expect,  under  the  most 
favourable  circumstances,  the  full  tide  of  success  and  resulting 
advantages  to  set  in  for  several  years  to  come.  In  Mysore  and 
Coorw  there  are  from  130  to  150  Europeans,  and  in  Wynaad  about 
the  same  number  engaged  in  coffee  culture.  The  capital  embarked 
is  something  enormous,  every  acre  costing,  on  an  average,  about 
£30  before  it  can  be  brought  into  bearing.  In  Mysore  and  Coorg 
there  are  probably  over  100,000  acres  under  coffee,  and  if  we  reduce 
the  cost  of  reclaiming  to  £12  per  acre,  so  as  to  make  allowance  for 
native  holdings  which  are  generally  opened  out  on  a  cheap  scale,  we 
shall  have  property  representing  a  money  value  or  expenditure  of 
£1,200,000  sterling.  In  Wynaad,  the  exact  acreage  is  29,909-08,  or 
say  in  round  numbers  30,000 ;  then  allowing  £20  per  acre  for 
opening,  as  the   native  holdings   arc  small,  and  almost  all  the  land 


cleared,  we  have  property  in  Wynaad  which  has  cost  the   owners 
£600,000   in    preliminary   expenses.     There   has   thus    altogether 
been    expended    in    opening    estates    in    these     districts    capital 
to  the  extent   of  £1,800,000,    and    it   is   to  be   hoped,    both    for 
the  sake    of  the   enterprising  men  who    have  placed    so  much   at 
stake,  and  that  of  the   countiy,  that  coffee  culture   will  ere  long 
prove  more  remunerative  than  it  has  hitherto  done.     Of  late,  the 
other  great  coffee   producing   countries,  Ceylon,  Java,   and  Brazil, 
have  year  by  year  been  increasing  their  exports  of  this  article,  and 
this,  coupled  with  a  prospective  increase  in  the  working  expenses, 
has  led  many  Indian  planters  to  fear  such  an  ultimate  reduction  of 
prices,  as  would  render  its  culture  in  this  country  unprofitable.     In 
1860,  the  coffee  produced  in  Brazil  amounted  to  2,956,250  cwts.,  but 
in   1863-64,  owing  to  various  causes,  it    had  dwindled   down  to 
2,167,000  cwts.     Next  season  showed  a  decided  increase,  the  out- 
turn having  reached  3,000,000  cwts.,  and  in  1866-67,  it  amounted  to 
no  less  than  3,799,647  cwts.     It  thus  appears  that  coffee  culture  is 
rapidly  increasing  in  this  quarter  of  the  world,  and,  although  ham- 
pered by  various  obstacles,  still   so  favourable  are  the  climate  and 
soil,    and   so   great  the  facilities  for  exportation  provided    by  the 
recently  made  railway,  that  it  is  certain  to  go  on  with  steady  pro- 
gress, and  Brazil  continue  the  greatest  coffee-producing  country  in 
the   world.     At   the   same  time  there  does  not  appear  to  be  any 
immediate  risk  of  her  competing  extensively  with  the  coffee  countries 
of  the  East  in  the  European  markets,  as  her  neighbours,  the  United 
States,  buy  a  very  large  portion  of  her  crops.    In  1867,  of  2,659,753 
bags  exported,  no  less  than  1,226,636  went  to  American  ports,  and 
the  consumption  of  coffee  throughout  the  republican  territory  is 
steadily  on  the  increase.* 

Java,  the  next  largest  coffee-producing  country  in  the  world  is 
a  less  formidable  rival,  her  exports  having  remained  nearly  station- 
ary for  a  considerable  period.  The  following  table  exhibits  the 
amount  of  the  coffee  crops  in  Java  throughout  a  series  of  years  : 

Years.  Coffee. 

Cwts. 

1862-63        1,474,000 

1863-64   671,000 

1864-65f   1,271.000 

1866-67   1,162,596 

*  These  statistics  have  been  got  from  Ferguson's  "  Ceylon  Directory." 
t  Statistics  for  1865-66  not  known. 

9 


10 


In  Ceylon  the  annual  increase  in  crop  lias  of  late  been  consider- 
able; as  will  be  seen  from  the  following  table  : — 


Tears. 

1860 
1861 
1862 
1863 
1864 
1865 
1866 
1867 


Coffee. 

Cwts. 
635,000 
613,000 
600,000 
807,000 
656,000 
927.O0O 
900,000 
945,000 


The  energy  and  intelligence,  too,  with  which  coffee  culture  is 
conducted  in  Ceylon,  lead  us  to  anticipate  a  still  further  increase  in 
production  ;  but  on  the  other  hand,  as  the  acreage  of  unopened  land 
is  not  very  extensive,  the  day  cannot  be  far  distant  when  it  will 
have  reached  its  maximum. 

The  tables  already  given  show  how  coffee  production  has  pro- 
gressed in  our  own  coffee  districts,  and  the  following  statistics  of 
exports  from  the  East  and  West  Coasts  exhibit  the  total  produce  of 
Southern  India,  throughout  a  series  of  years  : — 


Years. 

Exports  from 

Total. 

South 

Malabar 

Madras 

Canara 
Ports. 

Ports. 

Ports. 

Cwts. 

Cwts. 

Cwts. 

Cwts. 

1857-58 

34,600 

34,781 

2,284 

71,665 

1858-59 

36,587 

56,203 

9,750 

102,540 

1859-60  

53,463 

67,502 

16,598 

137,563 

1860-61 

82,448 

73,915 

34,475 

190,838 

1861-62  ,..     

58,700 

108,332 

22,487 

189,519 

1862-63 

75,819 

80,385 

15,068 

171,272 

j  1862-64  

77,499 

]  18,906 

51,810 

248,215 

i  1864-65 

58,827 

1.21,681 

80,498 

261,006 

1  1865-66  

74,155 

139,983 

80,174 

294,312 

'  1866-67 

69,608 

85,646 

52,627 

207,881 

Although  coffee  culture  is  thus  extending  in  every  country  in 
which  it  is  conducted,  still  there  is  no  reason  to  expect  a  very  great 
reduction  of  price,  in  consequence,  as  the  consumption  of  the  bever- 
age is  rapidly  increasing  both  in  the  east  and  the  west.     At  the 


11 

same  time  the  Indian  planter  must  strain  every  nerve  to  keep  his 
place  in  the  field,  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  this  end  will  be  best 
accomplished,  by  adopting  a  more  careful  and  scientific  system  of  cul- 
ture. On  the  part  of  Government  all  that  is  required  is  a  continua- 
tion of  the  present  expenditure  on  the  making  of  roads  in  the  coffee 
districts,  and  the  extension  of  railway  communication  as  soon  as 
that  can  be  effected.  The  success  and  development  of  coffee  culture 
depend  also  very  largely  on  the  supply  of  labour,  and  at  present 
this,  in  most  districts,  is  both  uncertain  and  inadequate.  Mysore  is 
perhaps  better  off  in  this  respect  than  the  other  districts,  as  the 
coolies  generally  belong  to  villages  near  the  estates,  and  the  average 
rate  of  pay  is  lower  than  in  Coorg  and  "YVynaad.  In  the  latter  dis- 
tricts, the  coolies  are  chiefly  drawn  from  the  interior  of  Mysore,  and 
from  below  the  Ghats.  To  induce  them  to  take  employment,  it  is 
found  necessary  to  give  advances,  a  system  productive  of  consider- 
able loss  to  the  planter,  as  desertion  is  very  common,  and  it  is  found 
practically  almost  impossible  to  lay  hold  of  a  deserter.  As  a  rule, 
too,  the  coolies  will  only  work  for  eight  or  nine  months  of  the  year, 
and  unfortunately  the  season  at  which  they  choose  to  go  awa}7",  is  the 
very  time  when  pruning  and  other  important  operations  should  be 
going  on.  The  existing  labour  law  seems,  as  a  rule,  to  be  approved 
of  generally  by  planters,  but  it  appears  desirable  that  some  modifi- 
cation should  be  made  in  it,  so  as  to  render  an  engagement  or  con- 
tract binding  without  the  tender  of  a  money  advance.  At  present, 
too,  in  some  districts,  the  difficulty  of  bringing  a  culprit  to  justice 
is  so  great,  and  the  prosecution  so  tedious,  that  many  planters 
prefer  losing  their  money  and  labour  to  going  into  Court. 


II.-CLIMATE,  SOIL,  AND  ELEVATION  REQUIRED  FOR 
COFFEE  CULTURE. 

Of  all  exotics  cultivated  in  India,  coffee  is  certainly  the  hardiest, 
as  it  may  be  seen  growing  at  every  elevation,  from  that  of  the  sea 
level, up  nearly  to  the  crests  of  the  Neilgherries,  and,  of  course,  under 
the  most  different  conditions,  as  to  moisture,  soil,  and  temperature. 
At  the  same  time  it  thrives  best  in  a  moderately  warm  and  moist 
atmosphere,  such  as  is  to  be  found  at  a  medium  height  on  tropical 
hill  ranges,  dry  heat  or  great  cold  being  equally  unfavourable  for 


12 

it.  When  grown  at  a  low  elevation,  it  suffers  from  the  drought  and 
high  temperature  of  the  hot  season,  and  although  irrigation  and 
shade  may  partly  avert  the  ill  effects,  still  coffee  cannot  be  profita- 
bly cultivated  in  Southern  India  at  any  elevation  much  below 
2,000  feet  above  the  sea  level.  Again,  in  too  elevated  localities  it 
runs  to  leaf,  and  produces  but  little  fruit,  and  that,  owing  to  the 
low  temperature  and  want  of  sunshine  at  the  proper  season,  but 
rarely  arrives  at  maturity.  A  site  where  the  temperature  ranges 
from  60°  to  85°  ,  and  the  rain-fall  is  copious  and  well  distributed, 
while  the  air  and  soil  are  perennially  moist,  will  be  found  the  best 
suited  for  coffee.  Such  a  spot  will  generally  be  met  with  at  an 
elevation  varying  from  two  to  four  thousand  feet,  a  good  deal 
depending  on  exposure  and  position  as  regards  the  crest  of  the  range. 
Thus  a  station  on  the  western  slope  of  the  Ghats  may  have  a  rain- 
fall double  that  of  one  at  the  same  height  on  the  eastern  flank,  and 
a  place  eight  or  ten  miles  distant  from  the  crest  of  the  chain,  will  have 
far  less  rain  than  one  nearer  that  point.  The  exposure  is  also  of 
great  importance — slopes  facing  the  south  or  south-west  being 
much  hotter  than  those  looking  north  or  north-east.  Under  any 
circumstances,  land  with  a  due  south-west  exposure  is  not  suited  for 
coffee,  the  violence  of  the  monsoon  rendering  the  plants  unproduc- 
tive, or  killing  them  outright.  Slopes  having  a  northerly  or  easterly 
exposure  are  undoubtedly  the  best,  and  they  should  be  covered 
with  forest,  as  coffee  will  not  grow  on  grass-land,  or  ground  covered 
with  scrub  jungle.  The  degree  of  slope  is  also  a  matter  of  great 
importance,  for  when  the  declivity  is  too  great,  the  storm  water,  in 
spite  of  every  precaution,  is  sure  to  carry  off  much  of  the  most  valu- 
able portion  of  the  soil.  It  is  well  to  avoid  the  crests  of  high  ridges 
or  low  hills,  as  the  plant  does  not  generally  thrive  on  these,  and 
forest  left  standing  in  such  places  affords  shelter  and  feeds  springs. 
The  land  in  the  coffee  districts  is  conveniently  divided  by  planters 
into  Forest  and  Bamboo*  The  former  lies  near  the  crest  of  the 
Ghats,  and  in  a  state  of  nature  is  covered  with  dense  tall  forest, 
while  the  latter  is  situated  more  to  the  east,  and  is  clothed  with 
rather  open  jungle,  characterised  by  numerous  clumps  of  bamboo. 
As  to  the  relative  merits  of  these  two  tracts  for  coffee  culture,  some 
difference  of  opinion  prevails,  but  my  own  observations  have  led  to 
the  conclusions,  that  as  regards  climate,  forest-land  has  the  advan- 

*  See  Map,  where  the  line  that  separates  these  is  indicated  by  a  yellow  streak. 


13 

tage — the  air  being  moister,  and  the  temperature  lower  and  more 
equable — while  in  the  matter  of  soil,  bamboo-land  is  decidedly  the 
superior.  It  must,  however,  be  remarked  that  the  bamboo  district 
is,  during  the  dry  season,  swept  by  scorching  east  winds  which  some- 
times cause  the  coffee  to  lose  its  leaves,  and  even  kill  the  young 
wood,  and  is  liable  to  suffer  from  severe  and  protracted  droughts. 
There  is  a  pretty  general  belief  that  on  estates  in  the  bamboo  dis- 
trict, coffee  will  live  only  for  eight  or  ten  years,  and  experience 
apparently  confirms  this  opinion.  The  fact  is,  that  the  peculiarities  of 
the  soil  and  climate  there  cause  the  plants  to  be  prematurely  and 
unusually  productive,  by  which  they  are  speedily  exhausted  ;  but,  I 
have  no  doubt,  that  byjudicious  pruning,  protection  with  shade,  and 
manuring,  they  might  be  rendered  just  as  enduring  as  those  in  other 
localities.  Tue  annual  rain-fall  is  a  point  which  requires  to  be  care- 
fully considered  in  selecting  a  site  for  a  coffee  estate,  as  excessive 
rain  is  nearly  as  prejudicial  to  the  plant  as  excessive  drought. 
Unfortunately,  too,  a  heavy  rain-fall  by  no  means  ensures  perennial 
humidity  of  the  soil  and  air,  for  in  many  parts  of  the  coffee  districts, 
where  upwards  of  100  inches  are  deposited  during  the  south-west 
monsoon,  there  is  a  dry  season  quite  as  trying  as  that  of  eastern 
Mysore  or  of  Coimbatore.  A  fall  of  from  80  to  100  inches  is  all 
that  is  necessary,  provided  a  fair  proportion  of  it  descends  in 
Februaiy,  March,  April,  and  May,  so  as  to  temper  the  severity  of 
the  heat  during  these  months.  The  year  in  our  coffee  districts  may 
be  divided  into  the  dry  and  wet  seasons,  and  in  most  cases  these  are 
characterised  by  extremes,  the  former  being  excessively  hot  and 
dry,  while  during  the  latter,  torrents  of  rain  come  down  and  the  air 
and  earth  are  saturated  with  moisture.  These  peculiarities  prove 
very  trying  to  the  coffee,  and  have  been  the  chief  agents  in  render- 
ing some  estates  unsuccessful.  To  enable  the  plant  to  withstand 
such  inimical  agencies  must,  of  course,  be  the  chief  aim  of  the 
planter,  and  to  secure  this  end,  the  best  means  will  be  judicious 
draining  to  remove  the  superabundant  water  during  the  rains,  with 
manuring,  and  in  many  cases  shading,  to  aid  the  plant  in  resisting 
the  depressing  influences  of  the  dry  season.  The  next  point  of 
importance  is  the  nature  of  the  soil  and  subsoil.  In  nearly  all  our 
coffee  districts  the  great  want  in  the  soil  is  lime,  but  it  generally 
contains  a  fair  amount  of  potash  and  soda,  derived  from  decayed 
wood  ashes,  and  the  debris  of  the  metamorphic  rocks,  which  abound 
everywhere.     The  soil  best  suited  for  coffee  is  a  chocolate  coloured 


14 

loam,  resting  on  a  moderately  porous  subsoil.  Such  soil  is  very 
common  in  some  districts,  and  often  of  great  depth.  Some  red  and 
blackish  soils  also  answer  very  well,  the  former  consisting  of  clay 
coloured  with  iron,  sand,  and  organic  matter,  and  the  latter  chiefly 
of  humus  and  sand.  There  is  a  black  soil,  with  a  strong  resemblance 
to  "  cotton  soil,"  which  cakes  and  cracks  during  the  hot  season,  in 
which  coffee  does  not  thrive  well.  In  some  districts  laterite  is  the 
prevailing  subsoil,  and  when  not  too  stiff  and  too  near  the  surface, 
it  does  not  appear  to  do  any  harm,  but  when  the  soil  is  thin,  so  that 
the  roots  enter  the  laterite,  the  plants  shortly  begin  to  look  sickly. 
As  a  rule  too,  laterite  districts  when  stript  of  their  vegetation,  are 
very  hot,  and  rather  feverish.  Light  sandy  or  gravelly  soil  does  not 
suit  coffee,  being  poor,  hungry,  and  too  dry.  Stiff  clay  soils  are 
equally  unsuitable  ;  but,  perhaps,  the  finest  coffee  in  India  is  raised, 
on  a  soil  consisting  of  a  drab  coloured  rather  porous  clay.  In  wet 
weather  a  stiff  clay  soil  does  not  permit  the  water  to  percolate 
through  it,  and  the  plants  are,  therefore,  liable  to  suffer  from  rot  at 
the  root ;  and  again  in  the  dry  season,  although  it  may  contain  a 
large  per-centage  of  moisture,  it  cakes  on  the  surface,  and  so 
obstructs  the  functions  of  the  roots.  A  moderate  amount  of  stones 
or  boulder  masses  is  by  no  means  objectionable,  as  it  prevents  the 
earth  from  being  washed  away,  and  also  renders  it  cooler  and  more 
permeable  to  moisture.  Soil  resting  immediately  on  rock,  that  is, 
without  a  considerable  depth  of  intervening  subsoil,  is  apt  to  suffer 
from  drought,  and  the  plants  turn  sickly  or  die  on  touching  the 
rock.  The  colour  of  a  soil  is  of  considerable  importance,  that  of  a 
dark  colour  being  heated  most,  and  pale  clay  the  least  by  the  solar 
rays.  The  degree  of  moisture,  however,  greatly  affects  the 
temperature  of  soil,  and  so  it  often  happens  that  humus,  which  has 
a  great  affinity  for  water,  is  considerably  cooler  than  a  soil  of 
lighter  colour.  The  power  that  a  soil  has  of  absorbing  and  trans- 
mitting, as  also  its  capacity  for  retaining  water,  are  points  of  much 
importance  ;  its  fertility  being  in  direct  proportion  to  the  degree  of 
porosity  and  its  capacity  for  receiving  and  husbanding  moisture.  The 
earth  that  seems  to  possess  these  qualities  in  the  highest  degree  is 
a  loam,  such  as  that  which  has  been  described  as  the  best  suited 
for  coffee,  viz.,  a  chocolate  coloured  friable  mixture  of  sand,  clay,  and 
organic  matter.  Plants  are,  perhaps,  the  safest  guides  as  to  the 
nature  and  fertility  of  a  soil,  and  the  planter  recognises  this  in 
practice  by  avoiding   grass-land  and  sparse  jungle,  and  selecting  a 


15 

site  covered  with  dense  forest.  In  short,  it  may  be  regarded  as  a 
safe  maxim,  that  land  covered  ivith  dense  jungle  has  in  generalkt 
soil  suited  for  coffee  culture.  At  the  same  time  a  block  should 
never  be  selected,  until  the  nature  of  the  soil  and  subsoil  has  been 
carefully  ascertained  by  sinking  pits  in  various  directions.  Before 
leaving  this  subject,  I  cannot  help  remarking,  that  if  greater  care 
and  judgment  had  been  exercised  in  the  selection  of  sites  for 
estates,  coffee  planting  would  have  been  very  much  more  success- 
ful than  it  has  hitherto  proved.  Indeed,  mistakes  in  this  matter 
were  quite  inevitable,  as,  in  numerous  instances,  the  men  who  went 
site  hunting  were  almost,  or  totally  inexperienced  in  coffee  planting. 
The  loss  and  mischief  too  resulting  from  such  errors  have  unfortu- 
nately not  descended  on  the  owners  of  the  property  alone,  in- 
asmuch as  they  have  rendered  capitalists  distrustful  regarding  the 
stability  of  coffee  estates  in  general,  and  so  turned  into  other 
channels  a  great  deal  of  money,  which  might  otherwise  have  been 
employed  in  extending  coffee  culture.  The  unnecessary  destruc. 
tion  of  forest  too,  that  these  futile  experiments  have  led  to,  is  a  matter 
of  serious  concern  to  the  State,  for  the  denudation  has  rendered  the 
climate  both  drier  and  hotter,  and  the  scrub  jungle  that  springs  up 
on  abandoned  clearings  is  a  fertile  source  of  malaria.  It  seems, 
therefore,  desirable  with  a  view  to  check  such  unnecessary  felling, 
that,  in  future,  when  application  is  made  for  coffee  land,  the  chief 
Revenue  Officer  and  Executive  Engineer  of  the  district,  along  with 
the  Conservator  of  Forests,  should  inspect  the  block  selected,  and 
ascertain  whether  or  not  it  is  suited  for  the  purpose. 


III.— SKETCH  OF  THE  PHYSICAL  GEOGRAPHY  OF  THE  COFFEE 

DISTRICTS  IN  SOUTHERN  INDIA,  WITH  REFERENCE  TO 

COFFEE  CULTURE ;  INCLUDING  EFFECTS  OF 

FOREST  DESTRUCTION. 

The  tract  or  zone*  in  which  coffee  is  cultivated  in  Southern 
India  stretches  chiefly  along  the  crests  of  the  "Western  Ghats,  and 
extends  from  about  the  14°  of  North  latitude  down  nearly  to  Cape 
Coinorin.  The  kind  of  climate  that  the  plant  requires,  and  the 
limited  breadth  of  the  range  prevent  the  zone  from  even  attaining 
any  great  breadth,  and  the  former  reason  also  causes  it  to  follow 

*   See  Map. 


16 

exactly  all  the  windings  of  the  chain.  In  this  sketch,  it  will  be 
convenient  to  adopt  the  ordinary  division  of  the  tract  into  the  coffee 
districts  of — 

Mysore      J^W*"! 
(  Munzerabad. 

Coorg. 

Wynaad. 
Mysore : — In  Nuggur,  the  most  northerly  part  of  the  Mysore 
zone,  the  coffee  district  is  peculiar,  the  estates  being  mostly  situated 
on  the  slopes  of  the  Bababoodens,  and  other  hills  belonging  rather 
to  the  table-land  of  Mysore  than  the  Ghat  range.  The  eastern  face 
of  the  Bababoodens  is  very  abrupt,  and  is  crowned  throughout  the 
greater  part  of  its  length  with  a  bold  lofty  scarp  like  the  ruined 
battlement  of  some  ancient  fort.  From  the  base  of  this  a  steep 
slope,  covered  with  soil,  resulting  chiefly  from  the  debris  of  the 
overhanging  rocks,  runs  down  to  the  table-land,  and  is  covered  with 
a  moderately  open  and  tall  forest,  in  the  shade  of  which  the  coffee 
is  cultivated.  The  range  is  of  a  semi-circular  shape,  the  convex 
face  looking  eastwards,  and  on  the  other  side  there  is  a  vast  basin 
with  steep  grassy  slopes,  intersected  in  the  most  picturesque  manner 
with  wooded  ravines,  in  which  coffee  has  long  been  cultivated  by 
natives.  On  the  south-east  side  of  the  hollow  is  the  village  near 
which  coffee  was  first  planted  in  Southern  India.  The  top  of  the 
range,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  sholas,  is  entirely  covered  with  a 
carpet  of  grass,  which  in  the  rains  is  variegated  with  ground  orchids, 
the  splendid  orobanche,  and  blue  and  white  violets.  The  mean 
elevation  of  the  Bababoodens  is  about  5,000  feet,  and  the  rocks  are 
chiefly  micaschist  and  gneiss,  the  layers  of  which  are  flexured  and 
contorted  in  the  most  curious  manner.  Magnetic  iron  ore  occurs 
near  the  village  just  mentioned.  Wastara  and  Coppadroog,  in 
which  coffee  culture  is  also  carried  on,  are  mountainous  districts  to 
the  west  and  south-west  of  the  Bababoodens,  lying  mostly  between 
them  and  the  axis  of  the  Ghat  chain.  The  rain-fall  on  the  western 
side  of  the  Bababoodens  and  districts  beyond  is  heavy,  but  on  the 
eastern  slopes  it  rarely  exceeds  forty  inches.  Notwithstanding  this, 
estates  in  the  latter  situation  seem  to  do  very  well,  the  soil  being 
3-ich  andj'naturally  moist,  while  the  elevation  at  which  they  are 
placed  gives  them  a  comparatively  cool  temperature,  and  the  forest 
shade  protects  from  the   sun  and  scorching  winds.     There   is  still  a 


17 

good  deal  of  land  suitable  for  coffee  culture  existing  in  Nuggur,  but 
mostly  in  remote  parts  of  the  district,  and  far  away  from  public 
roads.  Cannon's  old  and  famous  estates  lie  close  to  the  south-west 
end  of  the  Baba-boodens.  The  rain-fall  is  deposited  almost  entirely 
during  the  south-west  monsoon,  and  the  dry  season  is  long  and. 
severe,  in  consequence  of  which  shade  is  absolutely  necessary  for 
coffee.  In  the  localities  in  which  estates  are  situated,  the  forest  is 
not  so  dense  or  lofty  as  that  which  grows  near  the  axis  of  the  Ghat 
chain,  but  of  moderate  height  and  evergreen,  or  at  any  rate  bearing 
leaves  during  the  hot  season,  and,  therefore,  well  adapted  for  shade. 
In  most  of  the  valleys,  and  at  low  elevations,  dense  bamboo  jungle, 
interspersed  with  teak,  blackwood,  mutti,  and  other  deciduous 
trees,  which  lose  their  leaves  in  the  dry  season,  prevail.  Such  tracts 
are  quite  unsuited  for  coffee  culture.  The  grains  chiefly  cultivated 
are  ragee  and  rice  ;  and  the  most  abundant  fruits  are  the  plantain, 
orange,  and  wild  mango.  There  is  a  small  Government  plantation  of 
the  Chinclwna  succirubra  at  Kullmtty,  on  the  Bababoodens,  doing 
well ;  but  no  sites,  very  suitable  for  tea  culture,  seem  to  exist.  The 
coffee  produced  in  the  district  is  generally  of  very  superior  quality 
and  flavour,  and  that  from  Cannon's  estates  is  as  highly  prized,  and 
fetches  as  good  a  price  in  the  English  market  as  the  Mocha  bean. 

Munzerabad : — This  district,  which  lies  immediately  to  the 
south  of  Nuggur,  differs  considerably  from  it  in  various  respects. 
It  consists  of  a  succession  of  low  rounded  hills,  usually  covered 
with  grass  and  studded  with  clumps  of  trees,  which  give  it  very 
much  the  appearance  of  an  English  park  on  a  large  scale.  Be- 
tween the  hills  run  beautiful  winding  valleys  or  ravines,  either 
under  rice,  or  covered  with  open  evergreen  forest,  which  here 
and  there  runs  up  the  grassy  slopes  in  dark  green  promontories. 
To  the  west  of  the  rounded  hills  the  Ghats  culminate  in  bold 
isolated  mountain  masses,  between  which  ravines  and  passes  of 
the  grandest  description  run  down  to  the  low  country.  The  prevail- 
ing rock  is  gneiss,  and  lateritic  formations  are  very  common.  The 
surface  soil  on  the  grass-covered  hills  is  generally  loam  or  elay  of  a 
bright  red  colour,  and  in  the  rice  flats  the  soil  is  mostly  a  strono-  clay 
of  a  drab  colour.  Some  of  the  rounded  hills,  so  characteristic  of  the 
district,  are  covered  with  forest,  under  which  the  coffee  is  cultivated. 
The  soil  in  such  places  is  generally  a  dark  loam  of  variable  depth, 
resting  on  a  red  gravelly  subsoil,  or  friable  half-decayed  gneiss.  On 
the  grassy  hills  a  stemless  Date  palm  and  the  Bracken  fern  are  very 


18 

common,  while  in  the  rice  valleys  the  Screiv-pine,  Melastomads,a.n& 
a  few  hardy  ferns  abound.  The  forest  near  the  axis  of  the  chain  is 
very  dense  and  lofty,  but  the  tract  covered  by  it  offers  few  sites  fit 
for  coffee  culture,  the  rain-fall  being  too  heavy  and  the  monsoon 
much  too  violent.  Most  of  the  estates  in  the  district  are  situated 
towards  its  eastern  frontier,  on  some  of  the  forest-clad  hills  or 
ravines  already  described.  The  trees  in  such  situations  are  of  me- 
dium size,  not  too  dense,  and  evergreen,  so  that  when  the  underwood 
has  been  cleared  away,  the  forest  becomes  admirably  suited  for 
shade  culture.  On  the  outskirts  of  some  of  these  forest  patches, 
considerable  tracts  of  a  sparse  jungle,  containing  many  deciduous 
trees  exist,  indicating  at  once  a  low  degree  of  humidity  and  a  high 
temperature.  Land  covered  with  such  wood  is  quite  unsuited  for 
coffee.  Here,  as  in  Nuggur,  the  rain  descends  chiefly  between  the  first 
of  June  and  the  end  of  October,  and  the  total  annual  amount  in  the 
coffee  zone  ranges  from  a  little  over  one  hundred  inches  on  its 
western,  to  forty  or  fifty  on  its  eastern  margin,  as  will  be  seen  from 
diagram  No.  1.  The  dry  season  is  very  long  and  tiying,  the  showers 
that  fall  between  November  and  March  being  few,  light,  and  uncer- 
tain. Shade  is  therefore  absolutely  necessary  to  protect  the  coffee 
during  that  period,  all  attempts  to  cultivate  it  in  open  ground  hav- 
ing proved  partial  or  complete  failures.  The  general  elevation  of 
Munzerabad  is  rather  low,  the  average  height  being  about  2,800 
feet,  and  this  also  increases  the  sun's  power.  There  is  now  very  little 
good  coffee  land  belonging  to  Government  in  the  district,  nearly  the 
whole  of  it  having  been  secured  by  European  and  Native  planters. 
The  general  crops  and  food  of  the  people  are  rice  and  ragee.  The 
coffee  exported  is  known  in  the  English  market  as  Mysore,  and 
generally  brings  prices  rather  above  the  average  of  Indian  plan- 
tation. 

Ooorg  : — This  district  is  the  most  southerly  portion  of  the  coffee 
zone  under  the  Commissioner  of  Mysore,  and  is  remarkable  for  the 
grandeur  and  beauty  of  its  scenery.  From  whatever  direction  it  is 
approached,  it  presents  a  mass  of  blue  hills  of  bold  outline,  and 
nature  has  defined  its  limits  by  bold  mountain  steeps  and  impene- 
trable forests.  These  in  former  years  proved  formidable  defences, 
but  it  is  now  traversed  by  lines  of  excellent  roads  passable  at  all  sea- 
sons, which  connect  it  with  the  adjoining  districts.  Entering  by 
any  of  these  the  traveller  from  the  plains  is  struck  with  the  gran- 
deur of  the  forests,  which  in  great  living  walls  line  both  sides  of  the 


19 

road.     Huge  climbers  scale  the  trees,  gorgeous  orchids  cluster  on 
their  branches,  and  the  scarps  of  the  road  are  covered  with  mosses  and 
ferns  in  great  profusion.     Mercara,  the  capital  of  Coorg,  is  very  cen- 
trically  situated,   and   has  been   built  on  one  of  the    highest  and 
healthiest  spots  in  the  province.     It  stands  on  a  plateau  about  3,500 
feet  above  the  sea,  and  is  surrounded  by  a  number  of  small  rounded 
hills,  from  which  the  forest  has  been  completely  cleared  away  to 
make  room  for  coffee,  whioh  has,  however,  in  most  instances  died  out, 
leaving   the   denuded   tracts   unsightly   in   the  extreme.     Looking 
southwards  from  Mercara,  the  whole  of  Southern  Coorg  can  be  seen 
at  a  glance,  and  a  more  splendid  sight  could  hardly  be  imagined.  It 
is  a  vast  undulating  tract,    with  here  and  there  a  low  hill  stand  in  g 
up,  and   is  bounded  on  the  west   by  a  mountain  chain,  the  axis  of 
the  Ghats,  of  great  elevation  and  bold  rugged  outline,  and  to  the 
south   by  the   grand  Brummagherry   range.     From  such  a  point  of 
view  Southern  Coorg  appears   to  be  covered  with  one  unbroken  un- 
dulating sheet  of  forest,  but  a  closer  inspection   discovers  numerous 
intersecting   deep-set   winding   valleys   under  rice.     There  are  also 
many  grassy  glades,  producing  park-like  scenes,  in  which  nature  far 
outstrips  the  most  skilful  efforts  of  the  landscape  gardener.     The 
average  elevation  of  Southern  Coorg  is  about  2,800  feet,  and  most 
of  the  forest  tracts  in  it  suitable  for  coffee  have  been  cleared  away, 
except  in  the  large  catchment  basin  of  the  Cauver3%  where  the  land 
is  almost  entirely  in  the  hands  of  Coorgs.     Here,  coffee  is  chiefly 
cultivated  under   shade,  and  although  the  owners  were  willino-  to 
part   with  their  property,  which  they   are  not,  felling    has  been 
strictly   prohibited  by   Government.      To    the    north    of  Mercara 
the  country  is  much  wilder,  presenting  a  vast  panorama  of  ruo-o-ed 
rocky  mountains,  with  great  scarps    of  bare   rock,  and   disposed 
in  the   most  irregular   manner.      The   valleys   between  these   are 
very  deep,  uneven,  and  rocky,  and,  therefore,  not   so  well  adapted 
for  rice  cultivation  as  those  in  Southern  Coorg.     All  the  hills  of 
Coorg  have  the  wild  picturesque   aspect  that  belongs  to   those  of 
primary  districts.     The  prevailing  rock  is  gneiss,  varying  in  colour 
and  composition,  and   in  all   stages   of  decay.     Quartz   in  beds  or 
isolated  pieces  is  rare,  but  boulders  of  gneiss,  agreeing  in  charac- 
ter  with  the  subjacent  rock,  are  common.      Kaolin   in  extensive 
beds  is  abundant,  more  especially  about  Mercara.     Talc  slate,  and 
mica  schists  also   occur    in   some  places,    but  only    to   a   limited 
extent,  but  laterite  is  to  be  met  with  here  and  there  throughout 


20 

the  whole  province,  and  is  the  prevailing  subsoil  in  Southern  Coorg. 
Coffee  culture  in  Coorg  was  at  first  chiefly  carried  on  in  the  dense 
jungle  tract,  but  of  late  years  numerous  estates  have  sprung  up  in 
the  bamboo  jungles  of  the  southern  portion  of  the  province.     Most 
of  the  older  estates  surround  Mercara  within  a  radius  of  eight  or  ten 
miles,  a  good  many  being  on  the  hilly  plateau  on  which   the  station 
stands,  and  the  remainder  on  the  sides  of  the  Sumpajee  Ghat,  a 
magnificent  pass  traversed  by  the  Mangalore  road.     In  the   former 
situation  the  monsoon  rages  with  great  fury,  and  wherever  the  land 
is  fully  exposed  to  its  violence,  the  coffee  has  either  partly  died  out, 
or  remains  small  and  unproductive.     When  the  exposure  is  favour- 
able, or  shelter  afforded  by  standing  forest,  the  results  have  been 
more  satisfactory,  some   estates  having  yielded  very  good  crops. 
The  quality  of  the  soil  varies  greatly,  but  it  is   generally  of  a  red- 
dish or  chocolate  colour,   open  and  of  fair  quality.     The  subsoil  is 
usually  a  red  gravel,  clay,  or  decaying  rock.     In  the  Sumpajee  Pass 
and  various  other  quarters,  although  the  land  is  of  fair  quality,  it  is 
so  steep,  that  it  is  liable  to  suffer  heavily  from  wash.     The  rain-fall 
around  Mercara  is  very  heavy,  the  mean  of  three  years  being  143*85 
inches.     It,  however,  rapidly  decreases  as  we  proceed  eastwards,  and 
at  a  distance  of  six  miles  down  the  Fraserpett  road  it  does  not  proba- 
bly, on  an  average,  exceed  seventy  or  eighty  inches.     A  few  large 
estates  are  situated  in  this  direction,  and  nearly  all  of  them  have 
suffered  severely  from  the  droughts  of  recent  years ;  the  intensity 
of  which  has  been  greatly  aggravated  by  the  extensive  clearings- 
Indeed,  the  dry  season  is  so  long  and  severe  in  this  quarter  of  the 
province,  that  shade  is  absolutely  necessary  to  protect  the  coffee  from 
its  effects.     In  South  Coorg  the  heavy  jungle  tract  approaches  close 
to  Veerajpettah,  and  immense  clearings  have  been  made  to  the  west 
and  south-west  of  the  village.    All  the  estates  to  the  west  lie  on  the 
hilly  plateau  of  South  Coorg,  and  the  total  destruction  of  forest, 
within  a  radius  of  eight  to  ten  miles,  exceeds  three  thousand  acres- 
The  estates  to  the  south-west  are  situated  on  the  slopes  of  the  Per~ 
riambady  Ghat,  and  on  the  flanks  of  hills  to  the  south-east  of  it,  and 
to  make  way  for  them  an  area  of  fully  1,800  acres,  covered  with 
splendid  forest,  has  been  completely  denuded.     Such  wholesale  clear- 
ing has  had  a  most  disastrous  effect  on  the  local  climate,  and  there 
is  no  doubt  that  it  caused  the  droughts  of  recent  years  to  tell  on  the 
district  with  tenfold  force.     The  soil  in  this  quarter  is  chiefly  a 
brownish  or  reddish  shallow  sandy  loam.     For  the  most  part  it  rests 


21 

on  a  subsoil  of  laterite,  which,  as  already  stated,  makes  land  easily 
heated  when  deprived  of  its  forest  covering,  and  renders  it  unsuita- 
ble for  coffee  when  it  approaches  too  near  the  surface.  In  the  Per- 
riambady  Ghat  the  soil  contains  a  large  proportion  of  clay,  much 
coarse  gravel,  and  in  some  places  so  many  large  boulders  that  plant- 
ing is  rather  difficult.  Both  here  and  to  the  west  of  Veeraj pettah 
the  land  is  often  very  steep,  and  the  usual  effects  have  resulted  from 
the  wash  of  the  monsoon.  The  prevailing  rock  is  a  dark  syenitic-like 
gneiss.  Hardly  any  unappropriated  land  suitable  for  coffee  remains 
in  this  quarter,  except  a  few  blocks  belonging  to  Coorgs,  immediately 
to  the  east  of  Mount  Remarkable.  About  ten  miles  to  the  east  of 
Veeraj  pettah  lies  the  village  of  Seedapoor  in  the  bamboo  district,  and 
to  the  west  and  east  of  this  a  great  many  estates  have  sprung  up  on 
the  slopes  of  low  hills.  These  were  mostly  covered  with  heavy  forest, 
but  of  quite  a  different  character  from  that  found  near  the  crest  of 
the  chain.  Generally  speaking  the  land  in  this  quarter  is  moderately 
level,  and  the  soil  a  rich  loam  of  great  depth.  Close  to  Seedapoor, 
the  famous  Mission  Estate,  which  for  years  in  succession  yielded  a 
ton  of  coffee  per  acre,  existed,  but  has  been  completely  destroyed  by 
drought  and  the  ravages  of  the  Borer.  Weeds  grow  much  more 
abundantly  and  rapidly,  and  are  much  more  difficult  to  subdue  in  this 
than  in  the  heavy  jungle  tract.  As  soon  as  the  monsoon  sets  in, 
grasses,  some  of  them  with  nearly  indestructible  under-ground  stems, 
spring  up  in  perplexing  abundance,  and  when  they  have  been 
cleared  away,  the  Goat-weed  (Ageratuni  Cordifolium)  takes  posses- 
sion of  the  ground.*     The  annual  rain  about  Seedapoor  does  not 

Professor  Leibeg  gives  the  following  analysis  of  the  ash  of  the  Goat- weed.  He  says 
it  robs  the  soil  of  the  very  constituents  indispensable  for  coffee,  and  recommends  that 
it  should  be  gathered,  burned,  and  the  ashes  returned  to  the  land  as  manure  : — 

It  contains  in  100  parts 


Potash           

...    2877 

Soda              

...       6-89 

Lime 

...     15-58 

Magnesia ...             ... 

...     10-62 

Phosphoric  Acid 

...      344 

Silica             ...         .. 

...       7-04 

Sulphuric  Acid 

4-07 

Chlorine       

6-07 

Carbonic  Acid 

...     16-01 

Oxides  of  iron 

...       3-28 

10177 
1-36 

Deduct  Oxygen 

100  41 


22 

usually  exceed  sixty  inches,  and  it  falls  chiefly  during  the  south- 
west monsoon.  From  December  to  April  the  air  is  very  dry,  the 
temperature  high,  and  the  sun  scorching.  At  this  period  the  forest 
trees  lose  their  leaves,  and  herbacious  plants  are  withered  up  or 
lead  a  precarious  existence.  During  the  first  few  years  coffee  grows 
here  with  amazing  rapidity,  and  produces  crops  much  beyond  the 
average  yield,  in  consequence  of  which  it  speedily  gets  exhausted, 
and  is  apt  to  suffer  from  Borer,  and  die  out  in  from  eight  to  ten 
years.  Shade  is,  therefore,  necessary,  and  as  the  original  forest  is  not 
fit  for  that  purpose,  the  planter  must  encourage  the  spontaneous 
crrowth  of  suitable  trees,  and  put  down  seedlings  of  such  when 
nature  does  not  come  to  his  aid.  The  diagram  No.  2,  prepared  from 
tables  in  "Dove's  Klimatologische  Beetrage,  1857"  will  afford  the 
requisite  information  as  to  the  climate  of  Coorg  in  the  heavy  jungle 
tract,  and  to  render  it  still  more  valuable  the  rain-fall  and  humidity 
of  the  air  at  Kandy  in  Ceylon,  around  which  coffee  has  been  so 
successfully  cultivated,  have  been  introduced  to  permit  of  com- 
parison. From  this  it  will  be  observed  that  although  the  rain-fall 
at  Kandy  is  less  than  at  Mercara,  it  is  much  more  equably  distri- 
buted throughout  the  year,  and,  therefore,  more  favourable  for 
vegetation.  In  Coorg,  the  bulk  of  the  rain  comes  down  during 
June,  July,  August,  and  September,  as  much  as  forty  or  fifty  inches 
bein<*  deposited  during  the  first  named  month.  Throughout  the 
rainy  season  both  the  air  and  earth  are  saturated  with  moisture, 
and  the  coffee  in  consequence  getting  gorged  with  fluid,  the  circula- 
tion and  other  functions  are  performed  very  imperfectly.  During 
the  remaining  eight  months  of  the  year  it  is  stimulated  by  a  high 
temperature  and  bright  sunshine,  while  the  rate  of  humidity  is  very 
low,  in  fact  too  often  below  the  per-centage  necessary  to  keep  the 
plant  in  a  healthy  condition.  It  will  be  observed  that  as  regards 
the  humidity  of  the  atmosphere,  there  is,  taking  the  whole  year 
round,  a  larger  per-centage  and  greater  uniformity  in  Ceylon  than 
in  Coorg,  and  this  is  no  doubt  in  a  great  measure  the  result  of  its 
insular  position.  The  monthly  and  seasonal  means  show,  that  the 
temperature  is  remarkably  equable  at  Mercara. 

Tea  is  being  tried  in  the  province  and  grows  well,  but  it  has 
yet  to  be  seen  whether  it  will  yield  an  amount  and  quality  of  leaf, 
such  as  will  render  its  cultivation  profitable.  There  is  a  small 
Government  plantation  of  the  Chinchona  succirubra,  but  that,  too, 
is  merely  in  the  stage  of  experiment.     Coorg  is  famous  for  a  species 


23 

of  orange,  a.  small  reddish  yellow  fruit  with  a  loose  skin,  and  pulp 
of  great  sweetness  and  delicious  flavour.  The  other  fruits  most 
commonly  seen  are  the  plantain  and  guava,  a  species  of  the  former 
beino  indigenous.  The  tamarind,  owing  to  the  excessive  rain-fall 
and  low  temperature,  will  not  grow.  Rice  is  the  principal  crop, 
and  the  paddy-fields  are  entirely  watered  by  perennial  streams. 

Wynaad  : — This  district  stretches  in  a  south-east  direction  from, 
the  southern  frontier  of  Coorg,  down  to  the  northern  flank  of  the 
Neilgkeny  range.  Its  extreme  length,  as  the  crow  flies,  from  Peria 
to  Goodaloor  is  about  fifty-five  miles,  and  it  has  an  average  breadth  of 
about  twenty  miles.  Its  south-west  frontier  is  bounded  by  a  range 
of  bold  hills,  some  of  which  attain  an  elevation  of  nearly  6,000  feet. 
To  the  east  of  this  range — which  also  forms  the  axis  of  the  Ghat 
chain — the  country  consists  of  a  succession  of  low  hills  partially 
wooded,  with  intervening  narrow  winding  valleys,  and  as  we 
approach  the  table-land  of  Mysore  on  the  east,  the  hills  gradually 
decline  in  elevation.  The  heavy  forest  tract,  as  usual,  is  confined 
to  the  western  parts  of  Wynaad,  and  runs  from  the  northern  to 
the  southern  extremity  of  the  district  in  a  belt  about  ten  miles  wide 
and  parallel  with  the  crest  of  the  Ghats.  East  of  this  we  have  the 
bamboo  jungle,  which,  judging  from  the  number  of  plants  belonging 
to  the  Mysore  flora  that  grow  in  it,  and  other  features,  is  both 
hotter  and  drier  than  the  corresponding  region  in  Coorw.  The 
mean  elevation  of  the  coffee  zone  in  the  heavy  jungle  tract  is  about 
2,300  feet,  and  in  the  bamboo  district  about  2,000  feet.  The  prevail- 
ing rock  in  Wynaad  is  a  gneiss,  varying  in  appearance  from  a 
light  coloured  stone  with  a  superabundance  of  quartz,  to  a  dark 
syenitic-looking  heavy  and  hard  formation.  There  is  a  variety  of 
schists,  with  their  superficial  strata  generally  in  an  advanced  state 
of  decay,  and  conglomerate  (lateritic),  kaolin,  and  soap-stone  are 
not  uncommon.  The  soil  in  so  large  a  district,  of  course,  varies  very 
much.  In  the  forest  tract  it  is  usually  clayey,  containing  alono- 
with  the  clay,  sand,  and  a  little  humus  ;  and  varying  in  colour  from 
a  drab  or  pale  red  to  a  brown.  In  the  bamboo  district  the  soil  is  gene- 
rally a  brownish  vegetable  mould  mixed  with  a  little  clay  and  sand, 
or  chocolate-coloured  loam.  In  some  quarters  the  black  cotton-like 
earth,  already  described,  occurs,  and  seems  badly  adapted  for  coffee. 
The  first  estates  in  Wynaad  were  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Manan- 
toddy,  and  at  the  present  day  every  likely  spot  of  ground  for  many 
miles  round  it  is  either  under  coffee,  or  shows  traces  of  having  been 


24 

so  at  no  distant  date.  The  station  stands  a  little  to  the  east  of  the 
margin  of  the  forest  tract,  and  is  surrounded  by  low  hills  covered 
with  a  tall  scrub  or  bamboo  jungle.  North  of  it,  about  five  miles, 
there  is  an  off-set  of  the  Ghat-chain  partly  covered  with  heavy 
timber,  which  runs  eastward  into  the  bamboo  tract,  and  on  this  a 
o-ood  many  estates  are  clustered.  The  more  westerly  of  these  enjoy 
a  rather  favourable  climate,  but  those  on  the  eastern  end  of  the  spur 
are  exposed  to  severe  drought,  and  several  estates  there  have  had  to 
be  abandoned.  The  other  estates  in  the  forest  tract  in  North 
Wynaad  lie  chiefly  along  the  sides  of  the  Tellicherry  road.  Begin- 
ning at  Dindimul,  seven  miles  west  of  Manantoddy,  they  stretch  in 
nearly  unbroken  chain  for  about  twelve  miles  to  the  west.  The 
rain-fall  in  this  quarter  ranges  from  100  to  120  or  130  inches  in  the 
year,  but,  as  in  Coorg,  it  descends  chiefly  in  June,  July,  August, 
and  September,  and  the  soil  being  on  some  estates  light  and  sandj^, 
they  suffered  severely  from  recent  dry  seasons,  more  especially 
when  the  plants  were  old  and  exhausted.  Beyond  Peria  there  are 
a  few  estates  too  near  the  crest  of  the  Ghats,  which  consequently 
suffer  a  good  deal  of  damage  from  the  monsoon.  The  coffee  plants 
in  the  forest  district  of  North  Wynaad  appear  to  give  rather  small 
crops  until  of  considerable  age,  but  arrived  at  maturity  the  returns 
are  satisfactory,  and  some  estates  have,  with  little  or  no  manuring, 
given  good  crops  for  ten  or  more  years  in  succession.  Weeds,  par- 
ticularly grasses,  spring  up  abundantly  on  many  of  these  estates. 
To  the  east  of  Manantoddy  there  are  traces  of  a  number  of  estates 
in  grass  or  bamboo  land,  all  of  which  have  died  out  from  povert}'  of 
soil,  drought,  or  Borer,  or  all  these  combined  in  fatal  alliance.  This 
part  of  the  district  is  also  very  low,  the  average  elevation  being 
about  2,100  feet,  and  the  patches  of  jungle  in  existence  are  of  a 
kind  that  gives  no  hope  of  coffee  living,  except  in  perfect  shade. 
Within  the  last  few  years  a  good  many  estates  have  been  opened  to 
the  north-east  of  Manantoddy,  in  the  district  traversed  by  the  new 
road  which  is  to  connect  Wynaad  with  Coorg.  This  tract  lies  in 
the  bamboo  district,  and  the  soil  is  said  to  be  very  good  ;  and  in 
some  cases  shade  is  being  industriously  raised  to  protect  the  coffee 
from  the  protracted  and  severe  dry  season.  The  accompanying  dia- 
gram, No.  1,  gives  the  rain-fall  at  Manantoddy  for  1867,  by 
which  it  will  be  seen  that  it  is  considerably  less  than  the  average 
at  Mercara.     It  must  be  remarked,  however,  that  the  rain-fall  at  the 


latter  station  in  the  same  year  was  unusually  small,  having  been 
only  111  inches,  and  it  is  therefore  highly  probable,  that  the  season 
in  question  was  an  exceptional  one  in  both  districts.  It  may,  there- 
fore, be  safely  inferred,  that  the  ordinary  amount  of  rain  falling  in 
one  3'ear  at  Manantoddy  amounts  to  about  100  inches.  Proceed- 
ing eastward,  the  nature  of  the  flora  speaks  of  a  rapid  diminution, 
and  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  at  the  distance  of  twelve  miles 
it  will  not  be  found  to  exceed  sixty  or  seventy  inches.  In  all  other 
respects,  including  its  effects  on  vegetation,  the  climate  of  North 
Wynaad  may  practically  be  regarded  as  identical  with  that  of 
Coorg.  In  South  Wynaad,  the  first  estates  were  opened  near  Vy  thery, 
and  now  there  is  a  large  number  in  this  district  running  out  towards 
Culputt}\  In  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  Vy  thery  the  rain- 
fall is  heav}',  averaging  about  130  inches.  Of  this,  about  six  or 
seven  inches  are  deposited  during  the  north-east  monsoon,  and  thus 
the  severity  of  the  dry  season  is  somewhat  mitigated.  Towards 
Culputty  the  fall  is  much  less,  and  the  spring  months  are  nearly  as 
hot  and  dry  as  in  the  bamboo  district.  The  soil  in  South  Wynaad 
consists,  for  the  most  part,  of  a  mixture  of  sand,  clay,  and  vegetable 
mould  in  varying  proportions,  resting  on.  decaying  schists,  red 
gravel,  clay  or  a  s}^enitic  gneiss  veined  with  quartz.  Most  of  the 
estates  in  this  district  are  situated  in  the  heavy  jungle  tract,  and 
some  of  them  are  of  considerable  age  and  very  productive.  A  trunk 
road,  leading  down  the  Tambracherry  Pass,  is  in  course  of  construc- 
tion, and  when  finished  will  be  a  splendid  work  and  of  immense 
advantage  to  the  district,  as  it  will  bring  it  into  direct  and  easy 
communication  with  the  port  of  Calicut,  situated  about  thircy-nine 
miles  from  the  top  of  the  Ghat.  The  rain-fall  in  this  district,  for 
the  year  1867  will  be  found  in  diagram  No.  1.  In  South-east 
Wynaad,  a  district  of  large  extent,  there  is  great  diversity  of  soil 
and  climate.  About  Cherambady  and  Dewalah,  which  lie  in  the 
heavy  jungle  tract,  estates  are  rather  favourably  circumstanced  as 
to  soil  and  climate.  To  the  north-east  of  these  the  picturesque 
Nelialum  hill  towers  to  a  great  elevation,  touching  with  its  southern 
extremity  the  forest  tract,  and  then  running  out  into  the  bamboo 
jungle.  A  few  good  estates  are  situated  on  or  near  this  mountain 
mass,  and  those  on  the  higher  slopes  are  said  to  be  very  promising. 
Going  eastwards  from  Dewalah,  a  chain  of  estates  is  seen  running 
from  near  the  Nelialum  hills  towards  Goodaloor,  and  thence  below 
the  precipitous   face  of  the  Neilgherry  range  on  to  Seegoor.     The 

whole  of  this  group  are  in  scrub  or  bamboo  jungle,  and  the  climate, 

4 


26 

during  the  dry  season,  is  intenseky  hot  and  scorching.  The  forest 
trees  belong,  for  the  most  part,  to  the  flora  of  the  western  portion  of 
the  Mysore  plateau,  and  the  climate  is  altogether  badly  suited  for 
coffee,  and  notoriously  unhealthy.  In  some  places  the  coffee  is  kept 
alive  during  the  dry  season  by  irrigation,  and  where  this  expedient 
has  not  been  resorted  to,  the  losses  from  drought  and  borer  have, 
in  some  cases,  been  very  heavy.  Behind  Groodaloor,  on  the  slopes  of 
the  Neilgherries,  there  is,  however,  a  tract  of  quite  a  different 
character — the  famous  Ouchterlony  valley.  The  mean  elevation  of 
this  expanse  is  about  4,500  feet.  On  all  sides  it  is  surrounded  with 
scenery  grand  beyond  description,  and,  in  its  luxuriant  mantle  of 
coffee,  it  looks  as  if  it  had  been  made  expressly  for  the  growth  of  the 
plant.  The  exposure  is  north-west,  and  on  the  western  side  there 
is  a  lofty  spur,  culminating  in  the  Neilgherry  peak,  that  shelters  it 
from  the  south-west  monsoon,  and  on  the  east  flank  there  is  another 
spur  giving  protection  in  that  direction.  To  the  rear  of  the  valley 
there  is  a  forest-clad  wall  1,000  feet  high,  and  from  the  base  of  this 
the  cultivated  land  runs  out  with  an  easy  slope.  The  soil  consists 
chiefly  of  the  debris  of  the  overhanging  rocks,  and  fine  vegetable 
mould  washed  out  of  the  forests  at  a  higher  elevation,  and  is  very 
fertile.  The  climate,  too,  is  highly  favourable,  the  air  throughout 
the  }7ear  being  moist  and  cool,  and  in  the  dry  season  fogs  descend 
nearly  every  evening,  refreshing  the  plants  after  the  heat  of  the  day, 
and  moistening  the  soil.  Weeds  are  rather  troublesome  at  all 
seasons,  and  some  of  the  older  coffee  stems  are  covered  with  mosses 
and  lichens,  nature's  lwgrometers.  In  the  north-east  corner  of  the 
valley,  at  an  elevation  of  about  5,000  feet,  there  are  tea  and  coffee 
plantations  in  a  very  promising  condition.  As  regards  size,  uni- 
formity, and  vigorous  appearance,  nothing  could  surpass  the  coffee 
in  the  Ouchterlony  valle}',  and  in  no  part  of  Southern  India  have 
estates  been  so  largely  and  continuously  productive.  The  chief  crops 
in  Wynaad  are  rice  and  raggee,  but  they  are  not  produced  in  quan- 
tities sufficient  to  prevent  the  planter  from  having  to  send  out  of 
the  district  for  supplies  for  his  coolies. 

Effects  of  destruction  of  Forest  on  Climate,  8fc,  : — This  sub- 
ject has,  with  reference  to  Coorg,  been  fully  discussed  in  a  previous 
communication,  but  it  may  be  useful  to  give  a  summary  of  the 
conclusions  that  have  been  arrived  at  respecting  the  whole  of  the 
coffee  districts.  In  Nuggur  and  Munzerabad  the  clearings  have  not 
been  numerous  or  extensive,  the  coffee,  as  already   stated,   being 


t  27 

chiefly  cultivated  under  shade  ;  but  in  Coorg  and  Wynaad,  where 
this  system  has  never  been  in  favour,  the  clearings  have  been  gene- 
ral and  extensive.  Many  are  of  opinion  that  forest  has  the  effect  of 
increasing  the  amount  of  rain,  but,  although  that  ma}T  be  true  as 
regards  European  countries,  it  does  not  appear  to  be  the  case  in 
India.  In  the  former,  rain  is  proverbially  uncertain,  mostly  local, 
and  influenced  by  local  causes,  such  as  the  neighbourhood  of  a  hill, 
but  here  it  comes  and  goes  with  as  much  regularity  as  the  seasons, 
being  brought  up  by  the  monsoons  which  are  dependent  on  causes 
fixed  and  far  remote.  These  aerial  currents,  as  they  travel  towards 
the  Peninsula  get  thoroughly  charged  with  moisture,  and  on  reaching 
the  land  precipitation  takes  place  from  a  sudden  reduction  in 
temperature.  This,  on  the  Western  Ghats,  is  caused  by  the  current 
striking  against  the  colder  hills  and  by  reduction  of  density  as  it 
ascends,  so  that  it  can  be  of  little  consequence  whether  the  mountains 
are  bare  or  covered  with  dense  forest.  Adopting  this  theory,  the 
forest  in  the  coffee  zone  must  be  regarded  as  a  result,  and  not  the 
cause  of  the  rain  ;  and  nature  steps  in  to  support  this  view,  as  every 
one  must  have  observed  how  forest  gets  thinner  and  lower  towards 
the  east,  just  as  the  rain-fall  diminishes  in  quantity.  It  follows, 
as  a  matter  of  course,  that  forest  destruction  in  Wynaad  and 
Coorg  cannot  have  reduced  the  average  amount  of  rain ;  but  it  is 
equally  clear,  that  it  has  seriously  altered  the  drainage,  causing  the 
water  to  run  off  rapidly  instead  of  lodging  in  the  woods  to  feed 
springs  and  streams,  and  render  the  air  cooler  and  moisture  during 
the  hot  season.  The  now  periodical  character  of  streams  formerly 
perennial,  the  drying  up  of  wells  during  the  hot  months,  and  the 
change  in  the  flora  near  clearings,  all  testify  to  this  in  the  clearest 
manner.  As  regards  fever,  the  prevailing  disease  in  the  coffee 
districts,  the  change  of  climate  resulting  from  clearings,  does  not  as 
yet  seem  to  have  had  much  influence ;  but  there  can  be  little 
doubt  that  it  will  eventually  mitigate  the  type,  and  render  the 
disease  generally  less  frequent.*  In  several  districts,  cholera  has 
made  its  appearance  when  it  was  formerly  unknown,  but  this 
may  have  arisen  from  increased  intercourse  with  infected  centres, 
although  it  is  highly  probable  that  the  climatic  changes  may, 
on  the  introduction  of  the  disease,  have  favoured  its  development. 
It  is  very  evident,  too,  that  forest  destruction  has,  in  various  ways, 

*  Or  course  to  ensure  this  the  clearings  must  all  be  drained,  and  kept  under 
cultivation. 


28 

affected  animal  and  vegetable  life.  With  respect  to  food  supplies  got 
from  the  animal  kingdom  game  of  all  kinds  has  been  rendered  less 
abundant  from  want  of  cover,  and  fish  from  the  drvinff  and  silting 
up  and  denudation  of  the  banks  of  streams,  in  which  tliey  used  to 
spawn  and  live.  In  the  natural  forest,  too,  there  is  as}7stem  of  checks 
and  counterchecks  which  maintains  a  balance  between  creatures 
regarded  by  man  as  useful  or  harmless,  and  those  considered  noxious 
or  destructive.  Thus  the  carnivora  keep  clown  mammals  that  prey 
on  crops,  while  birds  and  various  reptiles  prevent  the  undue  increase 
of  insects.  These  last  when  kept  within  due  bounds  are  highly 
useful  as  scavengers,  and  otherwise,  and  in  the  natural  forest,  they 
rarely  become  so  numerous  as  to  prove  a  pest.  When  clearings  are 
made  however,  and  nature's  arrangements  disturbed,  the  destructive 
species  often  increase  to  an  alarming  extent,  owing  to  the  disappear- 
ance of  their  enemies,  the  want  of  plants  on  which  they  used  to  feed, 
and  the  establishment  of  climatic  and  other  conditions  favourable  to 
their  multiplication.  Of  late  years,  owing  to  change  of  climate  and 
other  causes  resulting  from  clearing,  several  additions  have  been 
made  to  the  fauna  of  Coorg,  various  birds  and  lizards  having  come 
up  from  the  Mysore  plateau.  At  the  same  time  some  species  of  in- 
digenous birds,  which  live  in  sparse  jungle,  have  become  more  numer- 
ous, and  as  these  are  chiefly  insectivorous,  we  see  in  this  an  effort 
on  the  part  of  nature  to  keep  in  check  various  kinds  of  insects, 
which  have  also  greatly  multiplied.  As  regards  vegetation,  the  most 
obvious  effects  are  an  increase  in  indigenous  species  that  grow  in 
hot  and  dry  situations,  and  the  naturalisation  of  several  that  do  not 
belong  to  the  country.  The  most  remarkable  novelties  are  the 
Lantana  Indica,  introduced  as  a  hedge  plant,  and  the  Physalis 
Peruviana,  which  must  have  escaped  from  some  garden.  The  plant, 
however,  that  has  been  most  influenced  by  denudation  is  the  Goat,  or 
White-weed  (Ageratum  cordifolium)  to  which  allusion  has  already 
been  made.  This  plant  follows  the  planter  into  the  most  remote 
parts  of  the  jungle,  springing  up  as  if  by  magic  all  over  his  clearings, 
and  refusing  to  be  exterminated. 

To  prevent  further  deterioration  of  climate,  regulate  the  drain- 
age, and  maintain  the  fertility  of  the  coffee  zone,  it  appears  desirable 
that  the  following  regulations  as  to  the  conservancy  of  forest  there 
should  be  adopted  : — 

I.     That   forest  near   the  head    waters  of  rivers  or  streams 
should  be  preserved. 


29 

it.  That  forest  on  the  banks  of  streams — sny  to  the  extent 
of  thirty  yards  on  each  side  of  a  large,  and  fifteen  yards  on  each 
side  of  a  small  stream — should  be  left  intact. 

in.  That  forests  on  or  near  the  crests  of  the  Ghats,  and  on 
the  tops  of  all  low  hills  should  be  kept  standing.  As  regards  tho 
latter,  it  would  be  a  safe  rule  to  forbid  felling  above  the  lower  third 
of  their  height. 

IV.  The  slopes  of  all  hills  having  a  south-west  exposure 
should  be  kept  under  forest,  as  neither  coffee  nor  tea  will  thrive 
in  such  a  situation. 

v.  Forest  in  the  upper  ends  of  ravines  should  be  preserved, 
as  it  invariably  gives  rise  to  springs  and  streams. 

vi.  Forest  surrounding  paddy  fields  should  be  left,  as  they, 
as  a  rule,  are  irrigated  by  streams  arising  in  it.  which  are  sure  to 
suffer  from  denudation. 

vil.  Forest  on  the  slopes  below  an  imperial  road  should 
be  preserved,  but  if  the  trees  are  of  a  large  size  it  should  be  cut 
down  for  some  distance  on  the  upper  side,  as  the  wind  gets  in 
through  the  clearing  made  for  the  roadway,  and  is  apt  to  throw  the 
trees  down  on  the  road. 


IV.— REVIEW"  OF  THE  PRESENT  STATE  AND  OF  THE  SYSTEMS  OF 
COFFEE  CULTURE  IN  SOUTHERN  INDIA. 

There  are  two  distinct  methods  of  coffee  culture  in  Southern 
India,  and  as  the  one  has  often  had  some  influence  in  increasing 
and  the  other  in  diminishing  the  ravages  of  the  borer,  it  becomes 
necessary  to  notice  both  in  this  report.  The  question,  as  to  which 
is  the  better,  has  never  been  satisfactorily  decided  by  planters, 
although  a  good  deal  of  controversy  has  taken  place  on  the  subject. 
Any  other  issue  was,  perhaps,  hardly  to  be  expected,  as  each  party 
has  engaged  in  the  dispute  with  a  strong  bias  in  favour  of  one 
system,  and  having  a  greater  desire  for  victory  than  the  elimina- 
tion of  truth.  Party  feeling  too  has  run  so  high,  that  to  praise  one 
system  in  the  presence  of  an  advocate  of  the  other,  would  often  be 
considered  sufficient  grounds  for  a  personal  quarrel ! 

Of  the  two  systems,  that  of  shade  is  undoubtedly  the  older, 
and,  therefore,  falls  to  be  considered  first.  The  want  of  any  satis- 
factory notice .  of  it  in  works  on  coffee  culture  is  strongly  signifi- 


SO 

cant  of  the  light  esteem  in  which  it  has  been  held,  and  yet  it  is  the 
almost  universal  system  followed  on  native  property,  and  through- 
out two  of  our  most  prosperous  coffee  districts  * 

Culture  under  shade  : — This  system  is  followed  in  other  coffee 
producing  countries  besides  India.  In  Java,  it  is  usual  to  plant  the 
Erytltrina  Indica,  or  the  Manilla  plantain,  between  the  rows  of 
coffee,  and  sometimes  part  of  the  original  forest  is  left  standing. 
Porter,  in  his  "  Tropical  Agriculturist,'"  says,  "wherever  coffee  trees 
are  planted  iu  a  plain,  which  is  exposed  to  the  sun,  other  trees  must  be 
planted  near  them  to  ward  off  its  rays,"  and  gives  a  quotation  from 
"  Brown's  Natural  History  of  Jamaica"  to  the  effect,  that  "  coffee 
thrives  best  in  a  cool  and  shaded  situation."  Dr.  Wallich,  when  in 
charge  of  the  Botanic  Garden,  Calcutta,  had  a  considerable  number  of 
coffee  trees  there  under  the  shade  of  a  Teak  plantation,  and  Dr.  Royle 
remarks,  that  when  he  saw  them  in  1823,  "  nothing  could  be  more 
healthy  looking,  or  in  better  bearing."  We  also  learn  from  a  modern 
traveller  in  Brazil,  that  coffee  thrives  well  in  the  shade  of  the  great 
forests  along  the  banks  of  the  Amazon,  and  even  yields  two  crops  a 
year  when  care  is  taken  in  its  cultivation.f  It  would  also  appear  that 
in  some  of  the  West  Iudia  islands  the  Banana  is  not  unfrequently 
planted  amongst  coffee  to  afford  shelter  and  shade.  In  India,  shade  has 
been  long  used  in  native  coffee  gardens,  and  this  is  all  the  more  re- 
markable, seeing  that  it  is  not  thought  necessary  in  Arabia,  from  which 
they  got  the  first  supply  of  seed,  and  derived  their  ideas  as  to  the 
mode  in  which  the  plant  should  be  cultivated.  When  visiting  the 
old  garden  on  the  Bababoodens,  in  which  coffee  was  first  cultivated 
in  Southern  India,  I  made  some  inquiries  on  this  point,  and  was 
told  that  for  some  time  after  its  introduction  the  plants  were  grown 
in  open  ground,  but  it  having  been  found  in  course  of  time  that 
they  did  not  succeed  in  that  manner,  planting  in  forest  shade  had 
been  adopted.  It  would  thus  appear  that  the  native  planter  was 
led  to  cultivate  his  coffee  in  shade  by  experience,  the  best  of  all 
teachers,  and  that  he  had  very  good  reasons  for  a  change  of 
system.  It  is  also  a  remarkable  fact  that  the  first  European  planters 
in  this  country  followed  the  example  of  the  Native,  and  their 
plantations,  after  the  lapse  of  from  twenty  to  forty  years,  are  still 
nourishing  and  productive  !  In  a  state  of  nature  the  coffee  grows 
in  moist  forest  where  it  is  screened  from  the  scorching  solar  rays 
by  the  foliage  of  other  trees ;  and  hence  when  placed  in  dry  hot 
*  Nuggar  and  Mimzerabad.  f  Agassis  "  Journey  in  Brazil." 


31 

situations  without  any  protection,  it  languishes  or  dies  out.  As  an 
element  of  climate  the  humidity  of  the  air  throughout  the  year  is 
of  much  more  importance  than  the  rain-fall,  and  unfortunately  in 
most  parts  of  the  coffee  zone,  the  winter  and  spring  seasons  are,  not- 
withstanding the  heavy  rain-fall  during  the  south-west  monsoon, 
particular^  dry  and  often  veiy  hot.  It  is  in  this  particular  that  the 
climate  of  our  coffee  districts  chiefly  differs  from  that  of  Ceylon, 
where  the  plant  has  been  so  successfully  growrn  in  open  ground,  and 
it  is  this  that  renders  shade  absolutely  necessary  in  India,  while  it 
would  be  perhaps  useless  or  hurtful  in  the  other  country.  The  insu- 
lar nature  of  Ceylon  gives  it  a  climate  perennially  moist,  and  fre- 
quent showers  and  dews  cool  the  air  and  refresh  the  plants  during 
the  hottest  months  of  the  yetxv ;  but  in  India,  often  for  months  in 
succession,  there  is  not  a  drop  of  rain,  while  at  the  same  time  the  sun 
is  as  bright,  and  the  air  as  dry  and  nearly  as  hot  as  on  the  plains  of 
the  Carnatic.  There  are  two  distinct  methods  of  shade  culture,  the 
coffee  in  the  one  being  planted  under  the  original  forest,  while  in  the 
other,  the  ground  having  been  cleared,  trees  are  planted  or  allowed 
to  grow  between  the  rows  of  coffee  to  afford  shade.  The  former 
may  be  termed  natural,  and  the  other  artificial  shade.  In  select- 
ing a  site  for  the  culture  of  coffee  under  natural  shade  forest,  consist- 
ing of  trees  that  lose  their  leaves  during  the  hot  season,  or  which  are 
too  tall,  should  be  avoided,  and  a  tract  chosen  in  which  the  trees  are 
of  moderate  height,  and  either  evergreen,  or  retaining  their  leaves 
during  the  spring  months.  Such  forest  is  generally  met  with  on  low 
rounded  hills,  or  on  the  slopes  of  ravines  in  the  coffee  zone.  The 
under  growth  usually  consists  of  shrubs,  seedlings  of  the  trees,  some 
hardy  ferns,  and  arums  and  other  shade  and  moisture  loving  plants, 
and  must  be  cut  down  and  piled  in  rows.  In  this  way  the  plants 
decay  gradually  fertilising  the  ground,  whereas  if  burnt  there  is  a 
great  chance  of  many  of  the  forest  trees  being  fatally  injured,  and 
the  superficial  mould  is  so  much  dried  that  it  runs  the  risk  of  being 
washed  away  by  the  rain.  In  the  season  following  the  cutting  and 
piling  of  the  undergrowth,  the  ground  is  cleared  of  weeds,  and  the 
coffee  planted  out  in  the  usual  manner.  In  the  case  of  artificial 
shade,  a  locality  suitable  for  coffee  having  been  selected,  the  forest 
is  cut  down  and  got  rid  of  by  piling  or  burning.  Of  the  two  modes, 
the  former,  although  more  expensive,  is  much  the  better,  as  the 
intense  heat  of  the  barn,  dries  and  scorches  the  ground  in  a  very 
prejudicial  manner,    while   all   the   valuable    soluble   constituents 


32 

of  the  ashes,  and  a  portion  of  the  earth  is  conveyed  to  the  nearest 
nullah  by  the  first  shower.  The  ground  having  been  cleared,  the 
coffee  is  put  down  in  the  usual  manner,  but  the  rows  had  better 
be  a  little  farther  apart  than  usual  to  provide  space  for  the  shade 
trees.  After  planting,  a  plentiful  supply  of  the  charcoal  tree 
(Sponia  Wightii)  generally  springs  up,  with  here  and  there  an 
Atti-marah  (Ficus  glomerata)  or  Sand-paper  tree  (Ficus  asperrima). 
All  these,  more  especially  the  first,  are  well  adapted  for  shade.  If, 
however,  nature  does  not  aid  the  planter  by  trees  of  spontaneous 
growth-,  he  must  take  means  to  supply  the  deficiency,  and  as  shade 
is  much  required  by  the  coffee  when  young,  any  check  at  that 
period  being  highly  prejudicial  or  even  fatal,  the  trees  selected  for 
planting  must  be  of  such  rapid  growth,  as  that  in  one  year  or 
eighteen  months  they  will  protect  the  coffee  with  their  side 
branches.  As  temporary  means,  until  more  lasting  trees  can  be 
<n*own,  the  castor-oil,  plantain,  and  potato  tree  (Solanum  arboreum) 
may  be  used  with  advantage.  The  best  of  all  trees  for  permanent 
shade  is  the  jack,  but  it  is  of  slow  growth,  giving  but  little  shade 
until  from  six  to  eight  years  old.  The  atti-marah,  already  mention- 
ed, is  an  excellent  shade  tree,  and  has  the  peculiarity  of  losing  its 
leaves  in  the  monsoon,  when  shade  is  not  required.     The  Busserah- 

rnarah  (Ficus ?)  is  also  one  of  the  best  of  shade  trees,  and  both 

it  and  the  atti-marah  are  easily  raised  from  cuttings.  The  charcoal 
tree  seeds  very  freely,  and  the  seed  should  be  sown  in  beds  and  the 
plants  removed  when  very  young,  as  they  do  not  bear  transplanting 
well.*  It  lives  for  about  forty  years,  but,  as  it  is  rather  liable  to 
accidents  from  winds  and  to  the  attacks  of  large  borerf  which  kill 
or  render  it  weak,  it  is  better  to  regard  it  as  merely  temporary 
shade  and  to  have  jacks  coming  up  to  take  its  place.  The  effects 
of  shade  on  the  coffee  plant  are  various,  and  are  due  to  the 
diminished  light,  reduction  in  temperature,  increase  in  moisture 
and  shelter.  Light  being  the  great  stimulant  of  the  functions  of 
vegetable  life,  its  partial  exclusion  causes  them  to  be  performed 
with  diminished  activity,  so  that  coffee  in  the  shade  as  compared 

*  List  of  other  shade  trees  : — Poiuciana  regia  ;  Macaranga,  several  species ;  Cassia 
florida ;  Acacia,  several  species;  Erythrina  Indica;  Mangifera  Indica ;  Thespesia 
populnea  ;  Banhinia  racemosa ;  Bauhinia  tomentosa  ;  Citrus  aurantium ;  Citrus 
bergamia  ;  and  other  species  ;  Quava,  Psidium  two  species  j  Guazurxia  tomentosa ;  Jamoon 
and  several  of  the  large  myrtaceso. 

t  The  grub  of  one  of  the  Hepialid?c. 


33 

with  that  in  open  ground  grows  more  slowly,  is  later  of  coming  into 
bearing,  produces  somewhat  smaller  crops,  and  ripens  the  berries 
more  slowly.  As  regards  the  temperature  in  shade,  the  Messrs. 
Becquerel  found  that  during  summer  in  France,  temperature  in  free 
air  slightly  exceeded  that  under  trees,  while  in  winter  the  contrary 
was  the  case*  On  these  hill  ranges  the  temperature,  both  of  the 
air  and  soil  in  forest,  is  less  during  the  dry  season  than  in  open 
ground,  but  during  the  monsoon  it  is  probably  somewhat  warmer 
in  the  former  than  in  the  latter.  On  looking  at  a  coffee  tree  under 
natural  shacje,  the  most  careless  observer  cannot  fail  to  be  struck 
with  the  difference  in  appearance  that  exists  between  it  and  one 
fuhy  exposed  to  the  sun.  The  beautiful  deep  green  colour  of  the 
leaves  and  their  great  size  are  very  striking,  while  the  tall  bare 
stem,  and  the  umbrella-like  expansion  of  branches  at  its  top  are 
not  less  remarkable.  A  closer  inspection  will  discover  that  the 
stems  have  become  bare  from  the  death  of  the  lower  branches,  but 
that  their  loss  is  pretty  well  compensated  for  by  the  great  develop- 
ment of  wood  in  the  top,  into  which  all  the  sap  and  the  vigour  of  the 
tree  are  thrown.  The  young  or  fruit-bearing  wood  will  also  be 
found  curiously  long-jointed,  and  not  so  robust  or  disposed  in  the 
same  regular  manner  as  in  unshaded  trees.  These  peculiarities  arc 
not  so  strongly  marked  in  plants  grown  in  artificial  shade,  which  in 
general  appearance,  and  time  of  coming  into  bearing,  differ  but 
little  from  plants  in  free  air.  The  coffee  in  natural  shade  rarely 
produces  much  crop  until  five  years  old,  and  whether  the  shade  be 
natural  or  artificial,  trees  grown  under  it  are  undoubtedly  less  pro- 
ductive than  those  in  the  open.  It  will  thus  be  seen  that  there  are 
some  disadvantages  attending  shade  culture,  but  these  are  quite 
compensated  for  by  the  greater  longevity  of  the  plants,  the  certainty 
of  a  fair  crop,  the  decreased  liability  to  suffer  from  droughts  and  high 
winds,  the  much  lower  rate  of  working  expenses,  and  great  im- 
munity from  borer.  The  retention,  too,  of  the  natural  forest  as 
shade  obviates  these  disastrous  effects  on  climate  and  drainage  that 
follow  denudation,  and  prevents  the  washing  away  of  the  surface 
soil  during  the  rains.  The  degree  of  shade  necessary  in  a  given 
locality  is  a  question  of  great  nicety,  and  hardly  any  general  rules 
can  be  given  on  the  subject,  as  climate,  exposure,  elevation,  and  the 
nature  of  the  forest  must  all  be  taken  into  consideration.     Generally 

*  "  Quarterly  Journal  of  Science,"  April  1867,  p.  280. 


34 

speaking,  in  forest  near  the  eastern  margin  of  the  coffee  zone  all  the 
trees  should  be  left  standing,  and  if  large  openings  exist,  they  should 
be  filled  up  by  planting  trees  of  rapid  growth.  In  forest  farther 
west,  a  judicious  thinning  may  be  necessary,  but  this  should  be  done 
with  great  caution,  as  forest  trees,  when  the  ground  under  them  is 
cultivated,  seem  more  liable  to  perish,  and  when  deprived  of  their 
neighbours,  are  liable  to  be  thrown  down  by  the  wind  ;  accidents 
which,  in  course  of  time,  might  render  the  shade  insufficient.  At 
high  elevations,  say  from  3,000  to  4,000  feet,  less  shade  is  required 
than  at  lower  sites,  owing  to  the  diminished  air  and  eavth  tempera- 
ture. As  to  the  kind  of  shade  suitable  for  a  given  locality,  it 
appears  that  natural  shade  is  the  better  for  places  of  low  elevation  or 
lying  far  to  the  east,  whereas  artificial  shade  is  preferable  on  estates 
farther  to  the  west,  and  in  situations  where  the  trees  are  deciduous 
or  too  tall.  Before  leaving  the  subject,  it  may  be  as  well  to  remarks 
that  insufficient  shade  does  not,  in  the  slightest  degree,  lessen  the 
liability  to  borer,  but  appears  to  have  the  opposite  effect. 

Culture  in  open  ground  : — The  general  preference  hitherto 
given  to  this  S3'stem  in  Southern  India  seems  to  have  arisen  from 
most  of  the  earlier  planters  having  been  trained  in  Ceylon,  where 
it  is  the  universal  practice,  and  from  its  being  recommended  in  near- 
ly all  hand-books ;  these  having  mostly  been  written  by  those  who 
had  learned  the  art  in  the  same  school.  It  was  very  natural  for 
men  coming  from  the  famous  coffee  producing  island,  and  seeing 
tracts  of  country  resembling  in  so  many  respects  the  districts  they 
had  left,  to  suppose  that  the  system  which  had  proved  so  successful 
in  the  one  would  do  so  in  the  other.  On  the  other  hand  it  is  strange, 
that  the  too  often  partial  success,  and  very  frequent  failure  that 
attended  all  these  earlier  experiments,  did  not  lead  the  planters  to  see 
that  some  modification  of  the  plan  of  culture  was  necessary  in  India. 
Nothing  could  afford  stronger  proof  of  how  much  men  in  general 
are  wedded  to  systems,  and  how  few  there  are  who  possess  those 
mental  qualities  that  enable  them  to  observe  and  reason  on  what 
they  see,  and  liberate  themselves  from  the  trammels  of  tradition. 
In  the  present  instance,  the  staunch  adherence  to  "  custom"  may  be 
partly  accounted  for  by  the  fact,  that  the  great  majority  of  those 
engaged  in  coffee  culture  have  had  no  special  training  to  qualify 
them  for  the  pursuit,  and  although  natural  abilities  may  go  a  lon«- 
way,  still  the  principles  of  horticulture  and  agricultural  chemistry 
do  not  spring  up  spontaneously  in  the  human  mind.     No  English 


bo 


farmer  at  the  present  day  would  venture  to  send  forth  his  son  on 
the  same  pursuit,  without  a  full  acquaintance  with  the  scientific 
principles  of  the  art,  and  the  planters  themselves  will,  I  am  sure, 
agree  with  me,  that  such  preliminary  knowledge,  as  well  as  practi- 
cal training,  is  most  essential  for  those  undertaking  the  culture  of 
coffee.  It  would  he  useless  to  give  here  a  detailed  description  of  cul- 
ture in  open  ground,  but  I  must  again  remark,  that  the  use  of  fire, 
to  get  rid  of  the  vegetable  covering  of  the  ground,  is  most  prejudi- 
cial. By  combustion  all  the  volatile  constituents  of  the  plants  are 
transferred  to  the  atmosphere,  and  the  inorganic  left  in  a  state  and 
position  in  which  they  are  sure  to  be  carried  away  by  rain.  The 
powerful  flames  too  of  the  burn  consume  a  great  portion  of  the  su- 
perficial layer  of  humus,  and  dry  the  remainder  and  subjacent  soil  so 
much,  that  they  also  are  liable  to  be  washed  away.  On  the  contrary, 
when  the  trees  are  piled  and  left  to  disappear  by  the  slow  process 
of  decay,  their  constituents  descend  to  the  soil  to  fertilise  it,  and 
the  wash,  is  not  nearly  so  extensive. 

General  Remarks : — I  believe  there  is  no  portion  of  the  coffee 
zone  in  Southern  India  in  which  the  plant  may  not  be  grown  under 
shade,  but  at  the  same  time,  at  high  elevations  with  a  moist  climate, 
it  will  not  be  found  necessary,  and  the  productive  powers  of  the 
tree  would  be  greatly  diminished  by  its  presence.  It  is  by  no 
means  easy  to  say  where  shade  will  be  required  and  where  it  will 
prove  injurious,  but  it  may  be  taken  as  a  safe  general  rule,  that 
wherever  there  is  considerable  elevation — say  over  three  thousand 
feet — and  great  perennial  humidity,*  the  plant  will  thrive  best  when 
freely  exposed  ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  wherever  there  is  a  long  and 
dry  hot  season,  and  the  elevation  is  under  three  thousand  feet,  the 
protection  of  shade  will  be  found  advantageous.  Irrigation  has  been 
tried  in  such  situations,  but  it  does  not  meet  all  the  requirements 
of  the  plant,  when  exposed  for  a  long  period  to  intense  heat  and 
great  dryness  of  the  atmosphere.  It  would  no  doubt,  however, 
prove  advantageous  on  some  estates  in  the  dense  jungle  tract,  where 
the  wet  and  dry  seasons  are  characterised  by  extremes,  for  although 
the  latter  may  be  by  no  means  very  hot,  still  the  sudden  change 
from  a  state  of  constant  saturation  to  one  of  comparative  dryness,  is 
very    trying  to  the   plant.     In  most  cases  too,  the  introduction  of 


*  If  the  climate  is  dry,  shade  may  be  necessary  up  to  3,500  or  4,000  feet. 


36 

irrigation  on  such  estates  would  be  comparatively  easy,  as  there  is 
generally  an  ample  supply  of  water,  and  sufficient  fall. 

Usual  mode  of  'planting : — When  about  to  be  removed  to 
their  permanent  place,  the  plants  are  rudely  removed  from  the  seed- 
beds, and  their  roots  having  been  pruned  at  discretion  by  a  cooly, 
they  are  carried  away  to  be  planted.  This  process  very  nearly 
reduces  the  plant  to  the  condition  of  a  cutting,  all  the  delicate 
fibrils  by  which  it  gathers  its  food  from  the  soil  being  removed  or 
injured.  Arrived  at  its  destination,  an  opening  is  made  for  it  in  the 
ground,  in  the  shape  of  a  small  pit,  or  a  hole  made  by  a  crowbar 
flattened  at  the  end.  Plants  thus  treated  receive  a  great  check,  and 
seldom  acquire  that  development  of  root,  which  follows  more 
careful  transplanting  and  is  so  essential  for  vigorous  growth.  Ball- 
planting  is,  of  course,  the  best  plan,  but  planters  object  to  it  on 
account  of  its  expensive  nature.  This,  it  appears  to  me,  would  be 
more  than  compensated  for  by  the  small  per-centage  of  plants  that 
would  perish,  and  by  the  vigorous  and  rapid  growth  that  would 
ensue.  The  number  of  plants  lost  in  new  plantings  under  the  pre- 
sent system  is  very  great,  and  the  cause  of  much  expense. 

Weeds  and  Weeding  : — Weeds  are  great  enemies  to  the  coffee  as 
they  are  to  every  cultivated  plant.  A  weedy  estate  is  always  an  un- 
profitable, and  very  often  a  borer-frequented  estate*  The  chief 
weeds  are  grasses,  small  Cyperacem  most  fatal  to  coffee,  Spider- 
worts,  and  the  Goat-weed  already  alluded  to  more  than  once.  This 
last  is  stigmatised  by  Liebig  as  a  "most  pernicious  weed  for  woody 
plants,"  as  it  withdraws  the  potash  from  the  soil,  and  he  recom- 
mends that  it  should  be  gathered,  burned,  and  the  ashes  returned 
to  the  soil.  There  is  a  system  called  hand-weeding,  which  consists 
in  eare fully  removing  from  the  first  all  the  weeds  by  hand,  instead  of 
by  mamoty.  In  this  way  the  soil  is  never  disturbed,  and  its  sur- 
face gets  gradually  covered  with  moss,  so  that  it  is  impossible  for  it 
to  suffer  from  wash.  At  the  same  time  there  are  some  disadvan- 
tages, for,  as  the  soil  is  never  dug,  it  gets  hard  and  offers  consider- 
able resistance  to  the  roots,  and  its  dense  upper  crust  prevents  the 
oxygen  of  the  air  from  entering  the  earth  and  coming  in  contact 
with  the  rootlets.  Some  of  the  grasses  and  cyperaceaB  which  the 
planter  finds  it  so  difficult  to  get  rid  of,  might  be  destroyed  by 
cropping  the  ground  with  the  Sweet  Potato,  which  completely  clears 
the  ground  of  all  the  enemies  of  the  coffee.  Weeding  is,  from  want 
of  labour  and  to  save  expense,  very  often  much  neglected,  the  estate 


37 

beinc  sone  over  but  two  or  three  times  in  the  course  of  the  year, 
instead  of  once  every  six  weeks  or  two  months.  On  very  steep  land 
it  is  better  not  to  remove  the  weeds  during  the  monsoon,  as  they 
prevent  the  soil  from  being  washed  away.  "Weeds  should  be  buried 
or  burnt.  Piling  them  round  the  stem  of  the  coffee  is  a  most  per- 
nicious system. 

Digging  : — This  operation  is  very  seldom  resorted  to,  partly  on 
account  of  its  expense,  and  partly  because  its  importance  is  not 
sufficiently  recognised.  The  tendency  of  the  heavy  rain  is  to  wash 
all  fertilising  materials  deep  into  the  soil,  and  as  these  are  never 
brought  up,  the  roots  of  the  plant  are  to  a  great  extent  starved.  In 
many  soils,  especially  those  of  a  clayey  nature,  a  good  digging  is 
as  beneficial  as  the  application  of  manure  ;  as  by  it  fresh  food  is 
brought  in  contact  with  the  feeders — the  fibrils — of  the  root,  and  the 
lower  portions  of  the  soil  exposed  to  the  very  beneficial  action  of 
the  air  and  moisture.  The  common  mamoty  is  a  dangerous  digging 
implement  in  a  cooly's  hand,  as  he  goes  recklessly  to  work,  but  too 
often  cutting  up  the  roots,  and  even  hacking  the  stems  of  the  plants. 
The  forked  mamoty  should,  therefore,  be  always  employed  in  turn- 
ing up  the  soil  on  a  coffee  estate.  Loosening  of  the  soil  is  rather 
dangerous  on  very  steep  ground,  but  might  be  performed  at  a  period 
of  the  year  that  would  allow  of  its  settling  down,  before  the  setting 
in  of  the  rains. 

Draining  : — Is  of  great  importance  on  coffee  estates,  as  not  only 
does  it  withdraw  the  water  stagnant  and  therefore  injurious  in  the 
soil,  but  also  prevents  the  washing  away  of  the  soil  by  rain.  I  have 
already  noticed  the  extremes  of  moisture  and  drought  to  which  the 
coffee  tree  in  Southern  India  is  subjected,  and  have  no  doubt  the  ill 
effects  of  the  former  would,  to  a  great  extent,  be  obviated  by  more  ex- 
tensive drainage.  In  undrained  land  the  water  lodges,  generates 
noxious  gases,  and  so  injures  the  roots  of  the  plants.  When  drained, 
it  filters  through  the  soil,  conveying  fertilising  materials,  renewing 
the  supply  of  air  in  the  interstices,  making  the  earth  looser,  and 
gradually  converting  organic  and  inorganic  matters  into  food  for 
the  plant.  It  also  enables  the  planter  to  dig  in  situations  where  the 
disturbance  of  the  soil  would  otherwise  be  unsafe,  and  makes  a  <nven 
quantity  of  manure  produce  much  better  effects  than  in  undraiued 
soil.  The  drains  used  on  a  coffee  estate  are  all  what  is  called  surface 
drains,  being  open,  about  fifteen  inches  by  fifteen  inches,  and  having 
agradientof  from  one  infifteen  to  onein twelve.  They  should  be  about 


38 

fifteen  or  twenty  yards  apart  in  steep  places, and  mustbe  watched  and 
regularly  cleared  during  the  rains.  In  badly  drained  land  the  leaves 
of  the  coffee  turn  yellow,  and  the  plants  often  rot  at  the  roots  and 
die.  Sometimes  during  the  rains  they  are  affected  with  a  disease 
called  Rot,  in  which  the  tissues  of  the  leaves  undergo  rapid  decom- 
position, and  the  leaves  turn  black  and  fall  off.  There  is  no  doubt, 
too,  that  the  want  of  vigour  displayed  b}'  the  coffee  on  so  many 
estates,  and  which  predisposed  them  to  attacks  of  the  borer,  has  been 
partly  produced  by  want  of  proper  drainage ;  and  a  good  authority 
says,  "  that  surface  draining  is  the  most  profitable  operation  in  coffee 
culture."  Foresters  at  home  well  know  its  value,  and  thousands  of  acres 
of  thriving  timber  plantations  may  be  seen  on  bleak  moors  and  moun- 
tain sides,  which,  but  for  the  draining,  would  never  have  grown  any 
tiling  more  valuable  than  heath  or  coarse  grass. 

Pruning: — "When  left  to  nature,  the  coffee  tree  in  India  be- 
comes an  unsightly  bush,  with  several  stems  which  run  up  to  the 
height  of  ten  or  twelve  feet.  The  planter  does  not  allow  his  trees  to 
produce  more  than  one  stem,  and  he  keeps  this  at  a  moderate  height, 
and  encourages  the  lateral  expansion  of  the  plant  hy  topping.  In 
exposed  situations  the  stem  should  not  be  allowed  to  exceed  two  or 
two  and  a  half  feet  in  height,  as  when  higher,  especialty  if  the  soil  be 
poor,  it  either  withers  at  the  top,  or  gets  broken  and  killed  by  the  mon- 
soon. In  sheltered  spots,  stems  may  safely  be  allowed  to  attain  the 
height  of  three  or  four  feet.  The  object  of  topping  is  to  keep  the  plant 
at  a  convenient  height,  to  preserve  it  from  injury  from  wind,  and  to 
cause  it  to  throw  out  vigorous  branches.  The  operation  of  pruning  is 
resorted  to  with  the  view  of  increasing  the  amount  of  fruit,  but  as 
a  rule,  it  is  very  badly  done,  and  often  all  but  neglected.  In  order 
that  a  tree  may  produce  fruit,  it  must  elaborate  from  the  sap  and 
have  ready  a  certain  amount  of  surplus  nutritious  matter,  and  this 
it  is  enabled  to  effect  by  the  agency  of  the  leaves.  If,  however,  there 
is  too  much  wood  left  on  the  plant,  it  draws  on  the  reserve  store, 
consuming  what  would  otherwise  have  been  expended  in  fruit  bear- 
ing; and,  on  the  other  hand,  should  too  much  be  removed,  there  is  not 
sufficient  leaf  left  to  elaborate  the  secretions,  and  so  the  plant  is 
checked  and  stunted,  and  the  amount  of  crop  diminished.  It  will 
thus  be  seen  that  pruning  requires  no  little  care  and  judgment,  and 
the  great  aim  of  the  planter  should  be  to  prune,  so  that  there  will 
be  enough  of  bearing  wood  left  to  produce  all  the  fruit  that  he  thinks 
his  tree  capable  of  carrying,  and  enough  of  leaf  to  keep  the  tree  in 


39 

vigorous  health  and  ripen  the  crop.  It  should  also  he  his  ohject, 
when  the  plants  are  young,  to  repress  any  tendency  to  overbearing, 
which  weakens  or  fatally  exhausts  them,  and  when  arrived  at  the 
stao-e  of  full  bearing,  to  endeavour  to  get  them  to  produce,  as  nearly 
as  possible,  the  same  amount  of  crop  from  year  to  year.  As  top- 
pin  «•  causes  the  coffee  to  assume  a  bushy  habit,  all  the  secondary 
branches  growing  within  six  inches  of  the  stem  should  be  removed, 
and  the  others  so  thinned,  as  that  light  and  air  may  have  free  access 
to  every  part  of  the  plant.  The  operation  of  pruning  should  be 
performed  immediately  after  crop,  as  the  plant  is  thus  relieved,  be- 
fore the  trying  hot  season,  of  the  drain  of  superfluous  wood.  Should 
pruning  be  delayed  till  the  flowering  season,  the  plant  is  needlessly 
taxed  and  weakened.  A  great  deal  of  misconception  exists  on  these 
points,  and  estates  are,  perhaps,  oftener  injured  by  neglect  of  or  bad 
pruning,  than  any  other  cause. 

Manuring  : — Until  quite  lately,  manuring  has  been  generally 
neglected  on  coffee  estates,  owners  seeming  to  think  that  the  natural 
resources  of  the  soil  were  ample  and  inexhaustible.  No  greater  mis- 
take could  be  imagined,  and  the  farmer  or  market  gardener  who 
would  act  on  the  same  principle  in  England,  would  simply  be  regard" 
ed  as  a  lunatic.  The  coffee  plant  indeed,  for  its  size,  requires  an 
unusually  large  amount  of  nutriment,  and  as  its  roots  cannot  «-o 
very  far  in  search  of  this,  the  upper  portion  of  the  soil  in  which  it 
grows  soon  gets  exhausted,  unless  supplied  with  manure.  In  its 
application,  the  great  aim  should  be  to  place  it  where  it  will 
be  most  accessible  to  the  fibrils  of  the  roots,  by  which  it  is  taken 
up,  and  it  should  also  be  remembered  that  the  more  thoroughly 
it  is  pulverised  and  mixed  with  the  soil,  the  better  will  it  act. 
On  laying  bare  the  roots  of  a  coffee  tree  it  will  be  seen,  that  for 
some  distance  around  the  base  of  the  stem  there  are  few  or 
none  of  the  minute  feeders,  the  fibrils,  and  hence  manure  deposited 
or  dug  in  there  must  be  of  comparative^  little  use.  The  pro- 
per  place  is  immediately  under  the  extreme  ends  of  the  branches, 
or  a  little  beyond  that,  and  the  manure  should  be  dug  in  at 
the  season  when  vegetable  growth  is  about  to  become  most  active, 
as  absorption  is  then  most  vigorous.  The  proper  period  for 
manuring  coffee  in  Southern  India,  is  therefore,  immediately  after  the 
pruning  season,  or  about  the  time  of  flowering,  and  the  operation  is 
then  likely  to  increase  the  number  of  flower  buds.*     It  would  be 

and^p^\S:ti0Ularlyt,ie  ^  Wlth  maQ™*^<*  «Peedy  action  VfcTo 


40 

impossible  here  to  enter  into  the  merits  of  the  various  manures  that 
have  been  proposed  or  tried  for  coffee,  or  even  to  enumerate  them 
all.     The^great  principle  to  be  kept  in  view  is,  that    they  will  keep 
the  soil  in  a  state  of  fertility  by   adding  the  substances    withdrawn 
from  it    and   not    merely    stir    up    or  bring    into    use  its    original 
productive  resources.     Farm-yard  and  other  natural  manures,  con- 
sistino-  of  the  excreta  of  animals  and  decayed  vegetable  matter,  are 
the  most  fertilising  to  the  soil,  but  when  applied  freely,  have  a 
stron^  tendency  to  cause  grasses  to  spring  up.  Bones  form  excellent 
manure  for  coffee  land,  and  the  finer  the   state  of  division  to  which 
they  are  reduced,  the  quicker  and  more  efficiently  will  they  act.    In 
the  state  of  superphosphate    of  lime   (that  is  bones   dissolved  in 
vitriol)  they  are  even  more  effectual,  as  that  salt  is  for  the  most  part 
soluble  in  water,  and  therefore  readily  absorbed.     Lime  is  also  an 
excellent  application,  but  the  planter  in  using  it  must  remember, 
that  he  is  drawing  so  to  speak,  on  the  capital  in  his  soil,  and  should 
therefore  restore  the  products  removed  by  the  plant,  by  the  applica- 
tion of  a  natural  manure.     Lime  acts   chiefly   by  expediting  the 
decay  of  organic  substances,  and  setting  free   the  alkalies.     Guano 
is  a  manure  more  adapted  for  annual  plants — such  as  root  crops— 
than  perennials.     Its  efficacy  arises  from  the  ammoniacal  salts  that 
it  contains  ■  and  there   seems  little  doubt  that  all  highly  azotised 
manures    like  it,  stimulate   vegetation   chiefly   by  stirring    up  the 
natural  resources  of  the  soil.  They,  in  short,  stimulate  but  do  not 
feed  the  land.     To  speak  of  the  various  patent  manures  now  on 
sale  would  be  impossible.     To  enable  the  planter  to  judge  of  their 
applicability  for  his  purpose,  he  must  find  out  the  general  composition 
and  wants  of  his  soil,  and  the  ingredients  contained  in  the  manures, 
and  to  do  this  properly,  he  will  require  the  aid  of  the  agricultural 
chemist. 

Table  of  Manvres. 


Name  of  Manure. 

Quantity  to  be  applied. 

Mode  of  application,  &c. 

Farm-yard  Manure... 
Bones 

1  cooly  load  to  each  \ 
tree      j 

6  cwt.  per  acre      ...  j 

In  stiff  clay  soils  apply  fresh  dung,  as  it 
helps  to  loosen   and  open    them:  in 

sandy  or  porous  soils  apply  -^ell  rotted 

dung. 
The  smaller  they  are  broken,  the  quicker 

and  more  effectually  do  they  act. 

41 


Table  of   Manures.  —  (Concluded. ) 


Name  of  Manure. 


Superphosphate        of 
lime      ...     


Guano       

Poouac  (oil  cake)     .. 

Lime 

Wood  ashes      ...     .. 


Quantity  to  be  applied. 


2  to  3  -cwts.  per  acre. 

3  cwts.  per  acre    ...  < 
8  cwts.  per  acre    ...  1 


S  to  10  cwts.  per  acre,  i 
I 
I 

10  or    12  bushels  per  j 
.icre 


Mode  of  application,  &c. 


Should  be  mixed  with  ashe.=<,  and  will  be 
more  effectual  if  combined  with  farm- 
yard manure. 

Must  he  reduced  to  fine  powder,  and  to 
ensure  equal  distribution,  be  mixed 
with  two  or  three  times  its  weight  of 
dry  earth. 

Should  be  reduced  to  fine  powder,  and 
well  mixed  with  the  soil. 

Should  be  applied  immediately  after 
slaking,  and  not  put  too  deep,  as  it 
gradually  sinks  into  the  soil.  Not  to 
be  applied  -at  same  time  as  other 
manures. 

Must  not  be  buried  too  deep. 


N.B.  —  Tke  usual  method  a/  applying  manure  by  placing  it  in  a  pit  near  the  foot  of 
the  tree  is  a  very  rude  and  imMeful  plan. 

Reviewing  the  whole  system  and  state  of  coffee  culture  ia 
Southern  India  there  seems  great  room  for  improvement,  the  soil 
and  trees  being  in  a  great  measure  left  in  a  state  of  nature. 
Digging,  the  most  essential  of  all  horticultural  operations,  is  very 
rarely  practised,  and  draining  is  not  sufficiently  attended  to,  while 
the  only  manure  that  the  ground  receives,  is  that  supplied  by  nature 
in  the  shape  of  withered  vegetation,  and  rain  !  Weeds,  those  arch- 
enemies of  cultivated  plants,  are  allowed  to  run  riot,  and  pruning 
is  rarely  performed  oftener  than  once  in  one  or  two  years.  As 
already  stated,  too,  not  a  few  mistakes  have  been  made  in  the 
selection  of  land.  In  some  cases  the  sites  chosen  have  been  in 
exposed  places  too  near  the  crest  of  the  Ghats,  so  that  3-ear  after 
year  the  plants  have  perished  from  the  severity  of  the  monsoon.  In 
other  instances  they  were  too  far  to  the  east,  and  the  trees  died  from 
the  combined  effects  of  drought,  exhaustion,  and  borer.  One  other 
very  common  mistake  has  been  the  opening  and  planting  of  more 
land  than  the  owner  had  means  to  cultivate  properly,  and  this 
appears  to  have  been  occasioned  chiefly  by  the  exaggerated  ideas,  at 
one  time  entertained,  as  to  the  profits  of  coffee  culture;  men  seeming  to 
think  that  coffee  crops  were  not  liable  to  variation  or  accident,  and 
that  their  gain  would  be  in  exact  proportion  to  the  extent  of  their 
estates.     Such  ideas,  it  need  hardly  be  said,  have  received  a  ruds 


42 

shock,  .and  a  dear-bought  experience  has  led  many  to  see,  that  one 
acre  highly   cultivated  will  be  more  profitable  than  ten  managed 
according  to  the  ordinary  system.  In  every  part  of  the  world,  where 
education  has  triumphed   over  barbarism,  the  advantages  of  high 
culture  for  all  kinds  of  crops  have  been  practically  recognised,  so 
much  so,  that  the  state  of  agriculture  in  any  country   may  be  taken 
as  a  gauge  of  its  degree   of   civilization.     That   planters    generally 
should  have  so  persistently  adhered  to  a  bad  system,  seems  to  have 
arisen  from  the  fact  that  nearly  all  of  them  were  unacquainted  with 
the  ordinary  principles   that  guide  the  cultivator  of  the  soil.     A 
change  of  system  is  now  urgently   wanted,  and  owners  must  make 
up  their  minds  to  a  great  increase  in  working  expenses,  in  order  to 
realise  the  large  profits   which  this  branch  of  industiy  is  doubtless 
capable  of  yielding.     When  such  an  augmentation  may  be  impracti- 
cable, then  the  better  course  will  be  to  abandon  all  the  poorer  parts 
of  estates,  and  concentrate  the  labour  and  resources  at  command 
on  the  remainder.     Indeed,  I  would  recommend  this  measure  to  be 
adopted  on  all  estates,  no  matter  what  the  resources  of  the  proprie- 
tors, as  from  various  causes  a  vast  amount  of  utterly  worthless  land 
has  been  reclaimed,  and  never  has  or  can  be  made   to  pay  the  mere 
cost  of  keeping  it  clean.     Of  course,  high  culture   is  equally  neces- 
sary, whether  the  estate  be  without  any  protection  or  in  shade,  and 
the  above  remarks  are  equally  applicable    to  either  mode  of  cultiva- 
tion.    An  unhealthy  stimulus  was  also  given  to  coffee  culture  by 
the  meretricious  value  for  some  time  put  on    such  property,  as  this 
enabled  planters  to  get  aid  from  capitalists  with  an  ease,  and  to  an 
extent  far  beyond  safe  limits.     For   a  time   all  went  on  apparently 
flourishing,   and  all    concerned    congratulated    themselves  on  their 
bright  prospects,  but  a   few  bad  seasons,  the  ravages   of  the  borer, 
and  a  crisis  in  the  money  market,  induced  a  severe  reaction.     Coffee 
shares,  at  the  present  moment,  are  all  but  unsaleable,  while  estates 
have  become  sadly  depreciated  in   value,  and  are  looked  on  as  very 
questionable  securities.     The  effect  of  all  this  has  been    to  place  the 
planter  in  a  most  trying  position,  and  in  some  cases  his  difficulties 
have  been  such  as  to  force  him  to  neglect,  or  even  abandon  really 
good  property.     The  alarm  about  the  borer,  too,  was  at  one  time  so 
great,  that  even  men   of  ample   means  paused  and  curtailed  their 
expenses,  a  step  which  in  some  instances,  I  have  no  doubt,  brought 
upon  them  the  very    evil   they  dreaded,   as  a  neglected   estate  is 
almost  certain  to  become  infested  with  this  terrible    pest.     It   is  to 


be  hoped,  however,  that  the  severe  ordeal  through  which  coffee  cul- 
ture is  now  passing,  will  lend  to  its  being  established  ou  a  firmer 
basis,  conducted  within  much  safer  limits,  and  carried  on  in  an  im- 
proved manner.  No  fact  should  be  more  strongly  impressed  on  tho 
mind  of  the  planter,  than  that  cheap  and  careless  culture  will 
always  be  profitless  culture.  The  coffee  plant  is  an  exotic,  and  to  be 
productive,  it  must  be  placed  in  the  most  favourable  circumstances, 
and  carefully  tended.  There  is  no  domesticated  plant  in  existence 
that  does  not  require  such  attention,  as  it  is  leading  an  artificial  life, 
and  it  has  become  an  established  maxim  both  on  farm  and  garden, 
that  the  higher  the  cultivation,  the  greater  will  be  the  amount  of 
crop  and  profit. 


V.— NATURAL  HISTORY  OF  THE  "  BORER,"  AND  REVIEW  OF  THE 
CAUSES  THAT  HAVE  RENDERED  IT  SO  NUMEROUS  AND  DESTRUCTIVE. 

Xylotrechus  quadrupes  (Cheiir.)  Order,  Caleoptera  ;  Fam. 
Cerambycidoe.  Synonyms — Ctytus  coffeophagus,  (Dunning)  ;  Clytus 
macaensis  ;  Clytus — ?  (Neitner)  ;  Clytus—?  (Bidie)  ;  Coffee  Fly; 
Borer  Beetle  :  and  of  the  Larva,  the  Borer ;  White  Borer;  and  the 
Worm. 

Description  of  the  Beetle. — See  Figs.  S  and  4,  PI.  iii. 

This  is  a  very  pretty  insect,  being  slender  and  elegant  in  form, 
and  beautifully  colored.  The  female  is  distinguished  from  the  male 
by  her  superior  size,  and  by  the  ovipositor  being  often  partially 
protruded.  She  is  generally  from  six  to  seven-tenths  of  an  inch  in 
length,  and  measures  from  eight  to  nine-tenths  across  the  wings. 
The  male  is  considerably  smaller. 

Head  depressed  and  flattened  in  front,  posterior  portion  lustrous 
black,  anterior  portion  pale  greyish-green  from  numerous  hairs  of 
that  colour. 

LabTUTfl  slightly  exserted  and  rounded. 

Mandibles  horny,  robust,  sharp-pointed  and  incurved. 

Maxillary  palpi  somewhat  slender  and  clavate,  the  last  joint 
long  and  thick.     See  Fig.  3,  PI.  iv. 

Labial  palpi  clavate,  with  the  last  joint  thick  and  slightly 
truncated. 

Eyes  lunate,  curved  round  the  angles  of  the  head,  large  and 
brilliant. 


u 

Antenna)  of  moderate  length,  eleven  jointed,  filiform,  firsfe 
joint  longest,  thickest  and  curved  ;  third,  fourth,  fifth,  and  sixth 
joints  slightly  dentate.     See  Fig.  1,  PI.  iv. 

Prothorax  round  or  slightly  oval,  globular,  covered  with  greyish- 
preen  minute  hairs,  and  marked  above  with  a  black  spot,  and  on 
each  side  with  a  black  dot. 

Elytra  sometimes  scarcely  covering  the  abdomen,  broad  at  their 
base  and  very  slightly  tapering,  convex,  rounded  at  their  extremities> 
black,  marked  with  white  or  yellow  transverse  diagonal  and  curved 
lines,  the  last  of  which  form  three  figures  like  the  inverted  letter  V. 

Legs  the  front  pair  shortest,  the  second  pair  longer,  and  the 
last  pair  about  as  long  as  the  body  :  four  posterior  femora  of  a  pink 
colour,  third  joint  of  the  tarsi  bifid,  and  the  last  armed  with  a  sharp 
double  hook.     See  Fig.  2,  PI.  iv. 

Pupa  : — The  insect  in  this  stage  of  its  existence  is  generally 
found  in  a  roomy  cell  prepared  by  the  larva,  immediately  under,  or 
only  separated  by  a  thin  layer  of  wood,  from  the  bark  of  the  tree. 
It  is  shorter  and  thicker  than  the  larva,  and  exhibits  the  antenna?, 
limbs,  elytra,  &c,  disposed  in  the  manner  usual  in  the  family.  Sec 
Fig.  2,  PI.  iii. 

Larva  is  at  first  not  more  than  the  tenth  of  an  inch  in  length, 
and  very  slender.  When  full-grown  it  is  from  three-fourths  to  one  inch 
in  length,  broadest  at  the  head,  and  gradually  tapering  towards  the 
other  extremity,  of  a  pale  yellow  or  whitish  colour,  and  fleshy 
consistence.  The  body  consists  generally  of  eleven  segments,  and  is- 
apodous,  but  three  or  four  of  the  abdominal  rings  are  each  provided 
clorsally  with  a  tubercle,  which  aids  the  insect  in  moving  forwards, 
and  in  fixing  its  body  while  lengthening  its  tunnel.  The  head  is  hard 
and  seal}',  flattened  above,  and  armed  with  very  powerful  mandibles 
(See  Fig.  4,  PI.  iv..  ;  Fig.  5,  gives  a  side  view  of  a  mandible,)  with 
which  it  reduces  the  wood  to  a  fine  powder.  This  forms  the  food 
of  the  voracious  creature,  and  having  passed  through  its  body,  is 
compacted  behind  it  in  the  tunnel,  and  so  agglutinated  by  some 
mucilagenous  fluid,  that  it  may  be  removed  like  a  cast  of  plaster  of 
paris. — See  Figs.  1  &  6,  PI.  iii. 

Ova  : — The  eggs  (Fig.  5,  PI.  iii.)  are  placed  deep  in  the  little 
cracks,*  which  always  abound  in  the  bark,  and  fixed  by  some  secre- 
tion that  is  voided  at  the  time  of  deposition.  The  ovipositor  is  a 
telescopic  split  tube,  and  when  not  in  use,  is  drawn  up  into  its  sheath,. 

•  See  Fig.  6,  PI.  iv. 


45 

■which  terminates  the  abdomen.  It  is  capable  of  being  protruded  to  a 
considerable  length,  which  enables  the  female  to  place  the  eggs  out 
of  the  reach  of  danger,  and  is  armed  at  its  extremity  with  two  little 
round  bodies  bearing  a  few  hairs,  which  are  probably  used  to  clear 
out  and  enlarge  the  crevice  where  the  eggs  are  placed.  It  is  difficult 
to  ascertain  the  number  which  one  female  will  lay,  but  the  average 
is  probabty  from  150  to  200.  The  eggs  are  placed  in  little  clusters 
containing  from  five  to  eight  each.  They  are  very  small,  about  the 
size  of  a  pin  point,  and  of  a  white  color.  Under  a  low  magnifying 
power,  they  are  found  to  consist  of  a  pearly-white  thin  membrane, 
and  are  of  apyriform  shape.  They  gradually  enlarge  in  length  as  the 
embryo  progresses,  until  at  length  the  little  larva  can  be  seen 
through  the  membrane.  They  are  mostly  deposited  in  sunny  places, 
and  hot  sunshine  favours,  while  cold  damp  weather  retards  or  pre- 
vents their  hatching.  Heavy  showers  destroy  them,  an4  they  are 
eaten  by  several  minute  insects.  They  are  not  often  deposited,  and 
do  not  hatch  readily  in  shade. 

General  History  of  the  Insect  : — When  the  beetle  emerges 
from  its  pupa  covering,  it  finds  itself  in  a  dark  chamber.  At  this 
time  it  has  not  attained  its  full  size  ;  the  hard  case  of  the  body  is 
not  so  strong  as  it  afterwards  becomes,  and  the  colours  of  the 
elytra  and  other  parts  of  the  body  are  dull  or  imperfect.  Accord- 
ingly, it  remains  in  the  place  of  its  birth  from  three  to  ten  days, 
until  eveiy  part  of  its  frame  has  attained  its  due  development,  when; 
moved  by  irresistible  instinct,  it  sets  to  work,  and  with  its  powerful 
jaws  cuts  a  tunnel  through  the  barrier  that  separates  its  cell  from 
the  surface  of  the  tree — (See  Fig.  6  a,  PI,  iv).  One  might  suppose 
that  in  performing  this  operation,  the  little  creature  would  be  just  as 
likely  to  go  in  the  wrong  as  the  right  direction,  but  this  is  prevented 
by  the  larva  when  about  to  be  transformed  into  the  pupa  state, 
always  going  to  rest  with  its  head  towards  the  exterior  of  the  tree. 
Very  often,  as  will  be  seen  in  Fig.  6,  PL  iii.,  the  larva  carries  on 
its  work  of  destruction  in  the  root  of  the  tree,  and  were  it  to 
undergo  its  transformations  below  ground,  the  beetle  would  never 
be  able  to  escape.  With  marvellous  instinct,  however,  the  borer 
always  returns  to  the  stem  to  prepare  the  cell  for  the  pupa  and 
beetle,  except  in  some  rare  instances  in  which  the  surface  of  a  root 
has  become  exposed  to  the  air  by  the  washing  away  of  the  soil. 
The  beetles  may  be  met  with  at  all  seasons,  but  are  most  plenti- 
ful just  after  the  monsoon,  and  throughout  the  dry  season.    They 


46 

live  from  twelve  to  twenty  days,  apparently  feeding  on  vegetable 
matter,  but  are  not  often  seen  at  large,  although  sometimes  met  with 
ou  the  leaves  or  bark  of  the  coffee  tree.  They  delight  in  bright 
sunshine,  and  are  very  active  in  their  movements  and  not  easily 
caught.  At  the  season  when  most  abundant,  they  sometimes  appear 
in  considerable  numbers  in  the  windows  of  the  planter's  bungalow  ; 
and  walking  through  a  field  of  coffee  it  is  no  unusual  thing  to  find 
two  or  three  adhering  to  one's  clothes.  Trees  attacked  by  the  borer 
always  occur  in  patches,  the  mischief  beginning  in  one  and  gradually 
extending  to  the  others.  The  females  in  general  select  warm  sunny 
places  for  depositing  their  eggs,  avoiding  exposed  and  shady  situa- 
tions. Indeed,  shade  seems  to  be  obnoxious  to  them,  and  when  the 
ova  chance  to  be  deposited  in  trees  protected  by  it,  they  do  not  hatch. 
The  female  beetle  is  much  more  numerous  than  the  male,  and  is 
active  during  her  whole  life  in  depositing  ova.  "When  engaged  in 
this  operation,  she  moves  about  briskly  on  the  bark  of  the  coffee  tree, 
looking  for  a  convenient  crack  or  chink  in  the  bark,  and  having  found 
this,  the  ovipositor  is  rapidly  inserted,  and  a  few  eggs  deposited  and 
fastened  in  their  place,  where  they  are  so  securely  hidden,  that  they 
can  only  be  seen  by  carefully  removing  some  of  the  outer  portion  of 
the  bark.  In  from  eight  to  fifteen  days  they  are  hatched,  and  the 
young  grub,  a  very  minute  creature,  begins  to  exercise  its  mandibles, 
and  derives  sustenance  from  the  inner  jnicy  layers  of  the  bark.  Its 
presence  there  causes  the  outer  portion  to  rise  in  a  well  denned  ridge 
(See  a,  Fig.  6,  PI.  iv.)  as  if  a  wire  had  been  passed  between  it  and  the 
wood.  This  is  an  unfailing  symptom  of  the  enemy  having  taken 
possession  of  the  plant,  and  enables  the  planter  to  detect  an  infested 
tree  long  before  any  other  signs  of  the  scourge  have  become  manifest. 
As  the  larva  increases  in  size  and  strength,  it  dips  into  the  tender 
young  wood,  and  at  length  drives  its  tunnel  in  all  directions,  having 
apparently  rather  a  predilection  for  the  hardest  and  most  sapless 
portions  of  the  stem.  As  will  be  seen  from  Fig.  6  of  PI.  iii,  the  tunnel 
pursues  a  very  winding  course,  but  rarely  touches  that  of  another 
individual,  and  never  emerges  on  the  surface  of  the  stem.  The  empty 
part  of  the  tunnel  in  which  the  borer  lives  is  rather  longer  than  itself, 
but  it  pushes  forward  and  fixes  its  body  by  the  dorsal  abdominal 
tubercles,  and  the  rings  generally.  The  tunnel  is  lengthened  by  the 
action  of  the  powerful  gouge-like  mandibles  (See  Fig.  5,  PI.  iv.)  and 
the  wood  powder  having  passed  through  the  intestine  of  the  grub  is,  as 
already  mentioned,  excreted  and  firmly  compacted  behind  it.     The 


47 

work  of  destruction  is  carried  on  b}'  the  larva  for  about  or  a  little 
more  than  nine  months,  when,  working  its  way  towards  the  surface 
of  the  stem,  it  prepares  a  chamber  immediately  under,  or  but  a  short 
distance  from  the  bark,  in  which  it  goes  to  rest,  and  becomes  trans- 
formed into  the  pupa.  In  this  state  it  continues  for  from  thirty  to 
fifty  days,  the  time  depending  a  good  deal  on  the  state  of  the  wea- 
ther. The  entire  existence  of  the  insect,  from  the  deposition  of  the 
ovum  till  the  death  of  the  beetle,  does  not  exceed  twelve  months, 
and  in  this  it  differs  from  other  members  of  the  Cerambycida3,  who 
are  said  to  pass  from  two  to  three  years  in  the  larva  state  ;  although, 
it  must  be  confessed,  that  we  have  but  little  accurate  information 
concerning  the  obscurer  points  of  their  life-history.  As  regards 
the  coffee  borer,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  life  of  an  individual 
in  all  its  stages  is  comprised  within  twelve  months,  as  instances 
have  repeatedly  come  to  my  notice  of  the  beetle  existing  in  stems 
less  than  eighteen  months  old.  The  season  at  which  the  beetles 
appear  differs  slightl}'  in  different  districts,  but  there  is  generally 
a  numerous  brood  on  the  wing  after  the  monsoon,  and  again  about 
the  middle  or  end  of  the  dry  season.  The  eggs  are  also,  of  course, 
deposited  at  these  seasons,  and  the  pupae  are  to  be  met  with  in  great- 
est abundance  in  the  month  of  September,  or  about  the  beginning 
of  October.  A  small  per-centage  of  the  pupse  are  abortive,  or  decay 
from  water  getting  admission  by  old  holes  through  which  beetles 
have  escaped,  and  it  sometimes  happens  that  the  chamber  in  which 
the  beetle  appears,  is  so  far  from  the  surface  of  the  stem,  that  it  is 
never  able  to  effect  its  escape. 

Symptoms  of  the  presence  of  Borer  in  a  tree: — The  first  sio-n  of 
the  borer  being  in  a  tree  is  the  ridge  on  the  bark,  already  alluded 
to,  which  is  generally  found  near  the  base  of  the  stem, — See  a¥'\<y.  6, 
PL  iv.  "When  the  work  of  destruction  has  gone  on  for  some  time, 
the  older  leaves  turn  yellow,  while  the  younger  ones  have  often  a 
curly  or  waved  appearance,  and  are  of  an  unhealthy  pale  green 
colour.  As  the  energies  of  the  tree  get  exhausted,  old  leaves  drop  off, 
and  sometimes  a  great  many  young  shoots  appear  on  the  stem  and 
primaries,  as  if  the  plant  were  trying  thus  to  maintain  its  existence. 
If  the  tree  is  bearing  crop  at  this  time,  much  of  it  falls  off, "while 
the  remainder  passes  from  a  sickly-green  into  a  yellow  colour,  and 
finally  gets  black.  At  length,  when  the  circulation  of  the  sap  is 
ar-ested  by  the  nearly  total  destruction  of  the  roots  and  stem*  the 
whole  plant  withers,  and  if  a  shake  or  wrench  be  now  given,    it 


48 

will  snap  across.  Trees  much  injured  by  borer  are  often  covered 
with  lichens,  and  many  planters  think  that  even  when  looking 
pretty  green,  the}'  have  not  so  firm  a  hold  of  the  ground  as  sound 
trees.  Such  trees  also  occasionally  put  forth  an  unusal  amount 
of  blossom,  an  incident  by  no  means  uncommon  in  plants  in  a  sickly 
state,  but  a  great  many  of  the  flowers  prove  abortive,  and  the  fruit 
which  is  produced  is  of  inferior  quality,  or  does  not  arrive  at  maturit}7. 

Injuries  inflicted  on  the  Stem,  and  Boots  by  the  Larva : — 
During  the  earlier  years  of  the  ravages  of  the  borer,  the  general 
immunity  of  young  coffee  trees  led  many  to  think,  that  only  old 
trees  were  liable  to  its  attacks.  More  extended  experience,  however, 
has  shown  that  a  coffee  tree  is  just  as  likely  to  be  assailed  the 
day  it  is  planted,  as  at  any  future  period,  but  with  this  important 
difference  in  the  results,  that  while  an  old  tree  may  recover,  a 
young  one  rarely  or  never  does.  In  a  young  plant  the  ova  are  de- 
posited six  or  eight  inches  from  the  bottom  of  the  stem,  and  when 
hatched,  the  larvae  go  down  to  the  thickest  portion  and  to  the  tap- 
root, which  they  shortly  reduce,  to  powder,  only  leaving  the  bark 
intact.  In  a  stem  not  thicker  than  the  little  finger  at  the  base,  I 
have  found  as  many  as  two  beetles,  one  pupa,  and  four  larvae.  In 
large  stems  the  borer  often  tunnels  only  within  a  foot  or  eighteen 
inches  of  the  bottom  of  the  tree,  but  usually  the  depredations  extend 
throughout  the  entire  stem.  In  most  cases  when  the  grubs  are 
numerous,  they  attack  the  roots  as  well  as  the  stem,  but  by  a  mar- 
vellous instinct,  as  already  stated,  never  by  any  chance  remain 
there  to  undergo  the  changes  into  pupa  and  imago.  On  lookin fl- 
at the  exterior  of  a  stem  that  has  for  some  time  been  infested  with 
the  borer,  numerous  small  holes  through  which  the  beetles  escaped 
will  be  seen  (See  Fig.  6,  PI.  iv,)  and  the  bark,  according  to  the 
extent  of  the  depredations,  will  either  be  dry  and  cracked,  or 
completely  withered,  while  some  of  the  primaries  may  have  dis- 
appeared, leaving  a  cicatrix,  the  furrows  on  which  intimate  that 
they  were  actually  amputated  by  this  destructive  creature.  If  the  root 
remains  safe,  some  of  the  lower  branches  may  continue  green  and 
bear  fruit,  while  the  upper  parts  of  the  stem  is  dead  and  generally 
devoid  of  branches.  In  young  trees  that  have  perished  from  borer, 
the  cause  of  death  is  not  always  very  apparent  until  they  are  broken, 
but  in  old  ones  the  tell-tale  holes  through  which  the  beetles  have 
worked  their  way  to  freedom,  light  and  air,  at  once  indicate  the  cause 
of  the  disaster.  The  damage  done  to  the  roots  is  usually  very  exten- 


49 

sivc,  as  tlie  larvae,  after  descending,  find  it  necessary  to  return  again, 
«nd  thus  the  consumption  of  sound  wood  is  greatly  increased,  for 
unlike  biped  and  quadruped  miners,  the  borer  is  compelled  to  find 
food  where  it  is  at  work,  and  eats  all  that  it  excavates.  On  laying 
open  the  stem  a  number  of  curved  markings,  as  in  Fig.  6,  PI.  iii, 
will  be  seen,  which  are  the  tunnels  of  the  larva  filled  with  its 
woody  excrement.  Sometimes  these  are  so  numerous  as  hardly  to 
leave  ai^  sound  wood,  and,  of  course,  the  chance  of  the  tree  dying 
will  be  in  proportion  to  the  amount  of  damage  it  has  sustained. 
When  bored  trees  begin  to  sicken,  the  large  red-ants  are  very  fond 
of  getting  into  them,  and  shortly  clear  out  the  borer's  tunnels,  not 
leaving  a  particle  of  the  wood  powder.*  Trees  in  which  this  has 
taken  place  are  sure  to  perish,  as  both  air  and  water  readily  gain 
access  to  every  part  of  the  interior.  The  tunnels  of  the  borer  are 
very  tortuous,  but  still  so  long  as  there  is  plenty  of  sound  wood 
in  the  stem,  it  is  a  rare  thing  to  see  two  of  them  touch  the  other, 
but  as  the  wood  gets  gnawed  away,  they  get  so  close,  more  especi- 
ally in  the  middle  of  the  tree,  as  not  to  leave  an  atom  unconsumed. 
Accordingly,  when  the  ants  enter  and  clear  out  the  debris,  there  is 
a  great  irregular  jagged  canal  left,  an  inch  or  more  in  diameter. 
When  a  stem  is  recovering  from  the  effects  of  the  borer,  the  holes 
in  the  exterior  are  filled  up  by  the  first  annual  ring  of  new  wood 
that  is  deposited,  but  the  damage  in  the  interior  of  the  tree  can 
never  be  repaired. 

Is  the  Borer  indigenous  ? — This  is  a  question  of  great  import- 
ance, and  I  have  no  hesitation  in  answering  it  in  the  affirmative. 
So  far  as  historical  evidence  goes,  it  is  in  favour  of  this  view,  for 
many  years  ago  a  specimen  of  the  beetle  was  got  somewhere  in 
Southern  India  by  Chevrolat.  I  have  also  learned  from  good  autho- 
rity that  it  was  well  known  nearly  thirty  years  ago  in  native  gar- 
dens amid  the  wilds  of  the  Baba-boodens,  into  which  it  is  impos- 
sible to  conceive  its  having  been  introduced  from  any  other  part 
of  the  world.  Indeed,  so  far  as  is  known,  it  is  peculiar  to  India, 
and  this  feature  of  its  history,  if  confirmed  by  future  observation, 
will  put  an  end  to  all  speculation  as  to  how  and  whence  it  came, 
I  have  also  observed  it  in  stations  so  far  remote  from  the  coffee 
zone,  as  to  preclude  the  idea  of  the  insect  having  travelled  over  the 
intervening  distance,  and  place  it  beyond,  doubt  that  it  must  have 
belonged  to  the  local  insect  fauna.     If  further  proof  be  necessarv, 


*  TLev  also  kill  the  Borer. 


50 

it  will  be  found  in  the  fact  of  the  borer  having  suddenly  appeared 
in  one  season  in  so  many  districts  of  the  country — districts  sepa- 
rated by  miles  of  forest  and  lofty  hills — whereas,  if  it  had  been 
introduced,  it  would  have  appeared  in  one  place  merely  and  have  gra- 
dually spread  around  that  centre.  So  far  as  I  am  aware,  the  beetle 
of  the  borer  has  not  been  found  in  any  indigenous  tree,  but  that 
may,  to  a  great  extent,  be  accounted  for  hy  the  circumstances,  that 
it  is  difficult  to  discover  whether  or  not  a  jungle  tree  is  being 
preyed  on  by  borers  of  this  one's  habits,  and  even  when  their  pre- 
sence is  suspected,  it  is  but  rare  that  one  can  have  the  time  and 
means  to  cut  down  and  examine  a  large  tree.  In  the  orange  and 
Grewia  larvae  are  found,  which  in  appearance  are  identical  with 
those  of  the  Xylotrechus,  and  there  is  strong  reasons  for  believing 
that  the}^  belong  to  it,  as  the  shape  and  habits  of  the  grub  are  very 
characteristic,  and  it  is  nearly  the  only  member  of  its  family  truly 
apodous.  I  have  found  another  beetle  belonging  to  the  genus 
Clytus,  to  which  the  borer  was  originally  referred,  in  forest  trees, 
but  although  the  grub  of  it  has  a  strong  resemblance  to  thatofXylo- 
trechus,  it  is  at  once  distinguished  by  the  fact,  that  it  only  attacks 
dead  wood.  It  is  not  very  common,  but  will  sometimes  be  found 
in  the  stump  of  a  Jamoon  tree.  As  the  borer  belongs  to  the  fauna 
of  the  coffee  zone,  it  is  not  to  be  anticipated  that  it  will  ever  dis- 
appear. Indeed,  the  occurrences  of  recent  years  would  seem  ta 
show,  that  the  conditions  which  favor  its  multiplication  have  been 
on  the  increase,  and  that,  therefore,  its  permanent  existence  is  on  a 
safer  footing  than  ever.  These  are,  no  doubt,  unpleasant  truths,  but 
they  are  so  supported  by  evidence  from  various  quarters,  that  not  a 
shadow  of  doubt  can  arise  regarding  them.  It  is  also  consolatory 
to  know,  that  all  sudden  outbreaks  of  hosts  of  insects  destructive 
to  crops  have  disappeared  or  been  reduced  within  moderate  bounds, 
either  suddenly  or  gradually,  when  left  in  the  hands  of  nature ;  and 
there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  that  the  invasion  of  the  terrible  coffee 
borer  will  be  an  exception  to  the  general  rule.  As  has  already,  and 
as  will  hereafter  be  more  fully  shown  too,  a  great  deal  can  be  done 
by  the  planter  so  as  to  render  his  plantation  less  liable  to  its 
attacks. 

Causes  that  have  rendered  ike  Borer  so  numerous  and  destruc- 
tive : — The  causes  that  induce  the  undue  multiplication  of  a  species 
of  insect,  so  as  to  render  it  a  pest,  are  so  numerous  and  obscure, 
as    to    render   the   subject   one   of    the   most   difficult    that   can, 


51 

engage  the  attention  of  the  naturalist.  An  abnormal  season,  a 
particular  wind,  the  disappearance  of  an  insectivorous  bird  or  pre- 
dacious beetle,  the  introduction  of  a  new  plant  or  insect,  the 
destruction  of  a  particular  plant  on  which  some  species  used  to  feed, 
the  sweeping  away  of  forest  and  consequent  disturbance  of  balance 
in  the  local  fauna,  the  neglect  or  abandonment  of  cultivated  land, 
and  other  circumstances  of  kindred  nature,  may  each  or  all  be  the 
chief  agents  in  calling  forth  hosts  of  noxious  insects.  In  proceed- 
ing with  such  an  inquir}'  then,  as  that  of  the  borer  pest,  much 
cautious  and  patient  observation  is  necessary,  and  the  temptation 
to,  and  opportunities  for  speculation  being  great,  conclusions  reached 
per  saitum  must  be  avoided,  and  truth  patiently  worked  out  from 
facts  furnished  by  nature.  The  first  step  must  be  to  ascertain  every 
thing  connected  with  the  habits  and  economy  of  the  insect,  which 
its  size  and  other  peculiarities  render  by  no  means  easy,  and  as  the 
time  required  by  an  individual  to  pass  through  the  various  stages 
of  its  life  is  often  protracted,  the  observations  must  necessarily 
extend  over  a  considerable  period.  The  next  object  will  be  to 
ascertain  what  local  peculiarities,  likely  to  increase  or  diminish  the 
insect,  may  exist,  and  with  this  view  the  meteorological  history  of 
the  district  must  be  scanned  for  any  peculiarities  of  seasons,  changes 
in  local  flora  and  fauna  noted,  and  the  geological  features  and  na- 
ture of  surface  formations  ascertained.  I  have  made  these  remarks 
to  show  how  the  conclusions  about  to  be  given  have  been  arrived 
at,  and  should  thej'  differ  from  those  of  others,  the  discrepancy  will 
probably  be  found  to  have  arisen  from  their  having  preferred  the 
empirical  to  the  inductive  method  of  inquiry.  Plants  in  a  sickly 
condition,  arising  from  poverty  of  soil,  exhaustion  from  cropping, 
weedy  ground,  general  neglect,  or  any  other  cause,  are  more  liable  to 
be  attacked  by  insects  than  such  as  are  in  a  more  vigorous  state. 
The  moment  a  plant  begins  to  flag,  it  becomes  a  fit  field  for  animal 
and  vegetable  parasites.  The  former  prey  on  its  leaves,  bark,  or 
wood,  greedily  devouring  them,  while  the  latter  draw  on  the  juices 
of  the  plant,  reducing  them  in  quantity,  and  depriving  them  of  im- 
portant constituents.  By  unfortunate  but  inevitable  sequence  toct 
the  presence  of  these  parasites  aggravates  the  very  condition  that 
invited  them,  and  thus  bad  goes  on  to  worse.  In  some  instances 
the  attacks  of  an  insect  are  the  primary  cause  of  disease  in  a  plant, 
but  this  is  not  the  case  as  regards  this  eneni}'  of  the  coffee  tree. 
When  plants,,  apparently   healthy,  become  a  prey  to  it,  a  careful 


52 

examination  will  either  detect  some  obscure  mischief,  or  they  will 
be  found  in  the  neighbourhood  of  infested  trees,  where  the  chances 
of  attack  are  greatly  increased,  the  insect  alwaj'S  working  round  a 
centre,  and  not  apparently  caring  to  undertake  a  long  flight  when 
it  finds  a  coffee  tree  at  hand.  Assuming  then  that  impairment  in 
vigour  is,  as  a  rule,  necessary  to  render  a  tree  liable  to  suffer  from 
the  borer,  it  follows,  as  a  matter  of  course,  that  the  coffee  plant 
throughout  the  whole  of  the  coffee  zone  in  Southern  India  must, 
of  late  years,  have  been  more  or  less  unhealthy,  seeing  that  the 
insect  has  been  so  prevalent  and  destructive.  There  is  no  doubt, 
too,  considering  the  vast  tract  over  which  it  has  extended,  that 
this  abnormal  condition  of  the  plant  lias  been  the  result  of  some 
very  general  causes.  The  most  obvious  of  these  are  the  preva- 
lence of  a  system  of  culture  unsuited  to  the  plant,  and  a  neglect 
of  the  ordinary  operations  of  garden  management ;  but  I  believe 
that  unusual  atmospherical  conditions,  viz.,  a  cycle  of  dry  seasons, 
have  had  nearly,  if  not  quite  as  great  an  influence  in  reducing 
the  vital  powers  of  the  tree.  At  the  same  time,  these  droughts 
have  rendered  the  insect  infinitely  more,  prolific,  for  it  loves  sun- 
shine and  a  dry  hot  atmosphere,  and  many  more  of  the  eggs  hatch  in 
a  droughty  than  in  a  moist  season.  In  short,  then,  inferior  culture 
and  unusual  drought  have  been  the  chief  causes  which  have  ren- 
dered the  borer  so  numerous  of  late  years.  In  inferior  culture  I 
include  the  absence  of  shade,  as  I  consider  that  the  neglect  of  it  is 
of  all  things  the  most  conducive  to  the  increase  of  the  borer.  In 
Munzerabad,  where  shade  is  common,  nearlj-  every  estate  not  so 
protected  has  either  been  completely  destroyed  or  seriously  damag- 
ed, while  those  under  shade  have  suffered  but  very  little.  In  the 
other  districts,  too,  the  comparative  immunity  of  estates  and  gardens 
under  sufficient  shade  is  very  remarkable.  It  is  curious  to  notice  in 
walking  over  an  estate  in  which  the  protecting  trees  occur  in  clumps, 
the  effects  of  the  different  degrees  of  shade,  the  plants  which  do  not 
receive  the  direct  rays  of  the  sun  being  tall,  green  and  free 
from  borer,  while  those  that  are  in  bright  light  and  exposed  to  the 
sun  during  a  part  of  the  day,  are  sickly  or  dead,  and  full  of  grubs 
and  holes.  In  most  cases  the  exact  limits  and  shape  of  the  shadow 
of  a  clump  of  trees  is  as  accurately  depicted  by  the  state  of  the 
coffee,  as  if  it  had  been  drawn  on  paper  by  a  sketcher's  pencil. 
I  have  no  doubt  the  great  cause  of  coffee  trees  in  shade  escaping 
from   borer  is  their  superior  vigour.     Another  reason  is,  that   the 


53 

beetle  dislikes  shade  and  shuns  it,  the  dim  light,  and  the  state  of 
the  atmosphere  there  being  disagreeable  to  it,  and  unfavourable  for 
the  multiplication  of  its  species.  The  other  defects  in  culture  have 
been  fully  noticed  already.  As  a  minor,  but  also  potent  cause  of  the 
great  prevalence  of  the  borer,  f  may  mention  the  cutting  down  of 
forest,  which  has  not  only  deprived  the  larva  of  its  natural  food, 
but  driven  away  some  of  the  enemies,  which  were  wont  to  prey  on 
and  keep  it  in  check.  In  the  natural  forest  there  is  a  beautiful 
balance  between  the  various  members  of  the  fauna,  and  between 
noxious  insects  and  their  enemies,  but  when  man  steps  in  with  his 
axe,  all  this  is  disturbed.  It  is  a  mistake,  however,  to  suppose  that 
insectivorous  birds  are  frightened  away  by  forest  denudation.  Some 
of  the  very  few  that  live  in  dense  forests  in  Southern  India  may  have 
been  so,  but  as  a  rule,  they  increase  in  clearings,  and  have  undoubtedly 
done  so  on  coffee  estates.  The  causes,  then,  that  have  chiefly 
produced  such  a  great  increase  in  the  borer  may  be  briefly  summed 
upas  follows — drought,  want  of  shade,  bad  culture,  destruction  of 
forest  trees  in  which  the  insect  used  to  live,  and  departure  of  some 
of  its  enemies. 


VI.— HISTORICAL  ACCOUNT  AND  STATISTICS  OF  THE  RAVAGES  OF 

THE  BORER. 

The  manner  in  which  insects  that  prey  on  cultivated  plants 
suddenly  appear  in  devastating  hosts,  and  again  disappear  or  de- 
crease, is  truly  marvellous.  Of  such  occurrences,  the  world's  history 
furnishes  us  with  numerous  examples,  the  invasions  of  the  locust 
being,  perhaps,  the  most  familiar  and  terrible.  The  raids  of  this 
insect  are  chiefly  confined  to  the  African  Continent  and  European 
countries  on  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean,  but  the  Southern 
Mahratta  country  was  many  years  ago  ravaged  bj'  a  red  locust 
which  appeared  in  a  column  hundreds  of  miles  long,  and  so  dense 
that  it  completely  obscured  the  sun.*  In  the  case  of  the  locust  and 
some  other  insects,  it  is  the  imago  that  proves  destructive,  but  more 
frequently  it  is  the  larva,  insects  in  that  stage  being  most  voracious,f 
while    their    numbers*    more    than   compensate    for  their   limited 

*  Kirby  aud  Spence,  p.   1 27- 

+  See   Westwood's  Entomological  Text  Book,  p.  1S9. 

+  But  a  very  small  uumber  of  larvie  attain  the  imago,  or  perfect  stage,  their  foes,  in 
the  shape  of  other  iusects  and  birds,  beiug  innumerable. 


54 

powers    of    locomotion.      A   notable    instance   of  the  destructive 
powers  of  a  grub   was  exhibited   in    the   case  of  the  Hessian  Fly 
(Cecidomyia  destructor)  in  America,   its  depredations  having  nearly 
exterminated  and   put  a  stop   to  the  culture  of  wheat  over   a  large 
tract  of  country.     In  England,  there  is  the  Wire-worm  (Elater  line- 
aris) so  fatal   to  grass  and    cereals,  and  a  countless  array  of  cater- 
pillars  that  prey  on  the  monarch s  of  the   forest,    the  shrubs  on  the 
lawn,  and  every  kind  of  farm  and   garden  produce.     In  France,  the 
caterpillar    of  a    small    moth  (Tortrix    vitana)  does    incalculable 
injury  to  the  vines,  and  some  years  ago  in   the  West  Indies,  and  in 
1856  in  the  Mauritius,  the  caterpillar  of  a  white  moth,    (Phalsena 
saccharalis)   proved    so   destructive    to  sugar-cane    plantations,    as 
almost  to  put    a  stop  to  that  branch   of  industry.     The  larva  was 
called  the  Cane  borer,  from  its  habit  of  boring  into  the  canes,  where 
it  committed  such  havoc  as   to  completely  destroy  them   in  a  very- 
short  time.*     The  insects  called  borers,  that  in  the  larva  state,   live 
in  the  interior  of  woody  stems,  are  very  numerous.     A  few  of  them 
belong  to  the  Lepidoptera,  such  as  the  Goat-moth  caterpillar  which 
destroys  the  stems    of  English  forest  trees,    the   grub  of  one  of  the 
Hepialidee    that  tunnels   our  charcoal  tree  (Sponia    Wightii),    and 
the  "  Red    borer"  (Zeuzera),  so   well   known   to  the  coffee   planter. 
The  majority  of  borers,  however,  belong  to  the  order  of  beetles,  and 
are  very  numerous   and   widely    distributed.     Fortunately  they  do 
not,  as  a  rule,  attack  living  wood,  although  to  this  there  are  numerous 
exceptions.     A  serricorn   beetle,    the  Lvmexylon  navale,  is  in  the 
larva  state  very  destructive  in  the  oak  forests  of  the  north  of  Europe, 
and  at  one    time   did    great  damage    in   the   dock}'ards    of  Toulon. 
Many  years  ago  it  appeared  in  devouring   hosts  in  the  Royal  dock- 
yards of  Sweden,  and  Linnaeus  having  been  consulted    on  the  sub- 
ject, advised  the  submersion  in  water   of  the  timber   at  the  season 
when   the  insect  was  depositing  its  eggs,  a  measure  that  effectually- 
put  a  stop  to  its  depredations.     The  longicorn  family  of  beetles  un- 
doubtedly yields  the  largest  number  of   ligniperdolis    species,  the 
larvae  of  the  Piionidae   and  Cerambycidco  being  especially  destruc- 
tive, and  well  known  both  in  Europe  and  India.     Some  years  ago 
Lamia  sentis  did  considerable  injury  to  soft- wooded  trees  in  Bombay,f 
and  of  late  a  borer  that  attacks  the  Casuarina  tree  about  Madras  was 
presented  to  the  Entomological  Societ}7  by  Dr.  Cleghorn,  and  recog- 

•  Westwood  Gard.  Chron.  1856,  p.  453. 

t  Journal  of  Royul  Asiatic  Society  of  Bombay,  vol.  i.,  p.  136. 


55 

nised  as  the  Cerosterna  gladiator.      In  the  New  World  the  Clytas 
speciosus  commits  terrible  havoc  in  the  valuable  sugar-maple  trees 
and    the   Clytus  pictus   is  not   less  destructive   to  the  Locust-tree 
Robinia  pseud-acacia.*  It  would  be  impossible,  as  it  would  be  use- 
less to  allude  here  to  all  the  insects  that  prey  on    cultivated  plants, 
but  it  is  important  to  note  that  in  every  instance  in  which  a  noxious 
insect  has  suddenly    increased  so  as  to  become   a  pest,  the  invasion 
has  rapidly  or  gradually  declined  when  left  to  the  hands  of  nature, 
who  has  her  checks  in  other  members  of  the  animal  creation,  and 
destining  agencies   in  sudden  changes    of  temperature,   deluges  of 
rain    or  the    dread   tempest. f     It   may  be    safety  said  that  every 
plant   in  nature  has  its  special  insect  foe,  some  tiny  creature    that 
feeds   on  it,  and    that   when    that  fails,  or  proves  insufficient,    the 
insect  resorts   to  some  other  of  an  allied  description.     Were  it  not 
so  the  coffee  shrub,  which  is  an  exotic  in   most  countries  in  which 
it  is  cultivated,  might    be   free  from  such    marauders,  but  instead 
of  that,  it   seems  to  encounter  a  special  host  of  indigenous  insect 
enemies  in   every  land  to    which   it   has  been    transported.     Mr. 
Neitner  in    his  "  Enemies  of  the  Coffee  tree  in  Ceylon,"    describes 
twenty    insects  that    prey    on  it,  and    says    that  this    list  "  might 
easily    be  doubled."      Porter  in  his  "  Tropical  Agriculturist"  men- 
tions  two    that   attack    it    in  the  West  Indies,    probably    a   Saw 
Fly  and    the  While  Bug ;   and  Kirby  and   Spence  (Introduction  to 
Entomology)    speak  of  the    larva    of  a     little   moth    that  ravages 
the  plantations  in  Guadeloupe.     In  Agassiz's  "  Journe}'  in  Brazil," 
we   are  told   that   coffee  plantations    often  look  ragged   and   thin 
from  the  ravages  of  a   Tinea,  which   spins    its  cocoon  on    the    leaf, 
and  that  the  Suaba  ants(Ecodoma  cephalotis)  also  do  immense  injury 
to  coffee,  b}'  cutting  out  patches  from  the  leaves.  Of  all  the  enemies 
of  the  coffee  plant  in  the  east,  the  bug  (Lecanium  coffea?),  was,  until 
the  borer    appeared,   the  most  prevalent  and  the  most  destructive  ; 
but   since  the  latter  grew  so  numerous,  the  former  has  come  to  be 
looked  on  as  a  minor  evil,  as  it  merely  damages,  while  the  other,  as 
a  rule,  kills  the  subject  of  its  attack.  The  larva,  called  the  borer,  has 

•  Treas.  of  Nat.  Hist.   (1862),  p    135. 

+  At  one  time  Formica  Analis,  an  ant,  proved  so  destructive  to  the  sugar-cane  in 
Granada,  as  to  put  a  complete  stop  to  its  cultivation.  A  reward  of  twenty  thousand 
pounds  was  offered  to  any  one  who  would  discover  an  effectual  mode  of  destroying  it, 
but  no  remedy  was  found  until  Providence  sent  a  tempest  of  rain  and  wind  which  anni. 
hilated  the  destructive  hosts. — Kerby  and  Spence,  p.  102. 


56 

for  many  years  been  known  on  coffee  plantations  in  Southern  India 
as  the  tvorm,  and  the  beetle  as  the  coffee-fly.  A  rather  curious 
feature  in  the  history  of  the  insect  is,  that  it  does  not  attack  the 
coffee  tree  in  Ce}<lon,  although  existing  in  jungle  trees  there,  and  I 
think  we  may  safely  infer  from  this  circumstance,  that  our  coffee 
tree,  which  is  exactly  the  same  species  as  that  grown  in  Ceylon, 
must,  as  already  stated,  have  been  in  an  unhealthy  condition  to  render 
it  liable  to  the  depredations  of  the  borer. 

Nuggur  : — In  Nuggur  the  borer  has  been  noticed  for  about 
thirty  years  in  the  gardens  that  belonged  to  Baba-booden,  but 
it  does  not,  for  fifteen  or  twenty  years  subsequently,  appear  to 
have  multiplied  to  any  extent,  and  only  attacked  worn  out  or 
drought-exhausted  trees.  Within  the  last  nine  years  it  has  become 
very  numerous,  appearing  wherever  there  hasbeen  coffee  to  consume, 
and  attacking  trees  of  all  ages  unprotected  b}'  shade.  On  one 
estate,  in  1860,  in  which  the  shade  trees  had  here  and  there  died 
out,  some  60,000  plants  were  destroyed,  and  taking  the  whole 
district,  the  mean  loss  cannot  be  less  than  live  per  cent.  Of  late, 
the  scourge  has  been  on  the  decline,  most  of  the  weakly  and 
exposed  trees  that  suffered  from  it  having  died  out  and  been 
removed.  The  alarm  regarding  it  is  also  subsiding,  it  being  found 
that  well-shaded  trees  rarely  suffer  or  die. 

Munzerabad  : — In  this  district  Europeans  state  that  they 
have  noticed  the  borer  for  about  twelve  years,  while  maistries  and 
native  planters  profess  a  knowledge  of  it  for  fifteen  or  twenty 
years.  Here,  as  in  Nuggur,  it  has  become  much  more  common 
within  the  last  eight  or  ten  years,  and  for  three  or  four  years  its 
ravages  have  created  great  anxiety.  Taking  the  whole  district  it 
may  be  said,  that  the  loss  has  been  nearly  in  exact  proportion  to 
the  decree  of  exposure  of  the  plants  to  the  direct  rays  of  the  sun, 
and  such  being  the  case,  all  alarm  has  nearly  subsided,  the  planter 
feeling  that  in  shade  he  has  a  nearly  perfect  preventive.  The 
epidemic  has  undoubted!}7  been  most  severe  in  dry  eastern  situa- 
tions, but  there  is  not  an  estate  in  the  district  on  which  the  insect 
has  not  made  its  appearance.  One  singular  case  of  immunity  came 
to  my  notice  in  an  estate  lying  far  out  to  the  west  amongst  the 
crests  of  the  ghats,  and  unprotected  by  shade.  It  was  situated  in 
a  ravine  opening  to  the  south  west,  and  all  the  trees  showed 
symptoms  of  having  to  fight  a  hard  battle  with  the  monsoon.  To 
this,  however,  I  attribute  its  safety  from  borer,  the   severity  of  the 


climate  being  such  as  to  deter  or  destroy  the  insect.  Of  European 
property  in  the  open,  about  fifteen  hundred  acres  have  been  nearty 
completely  denuded  of  coffee,  and  vvhat  remains  is  of  comparatively 
small  exteut,  and  far  from  promising.  On  estates  under  shade  the  loss 
varies,  being  almost  nil  where  the  protection  is  sufficient,  and  ranging 
from  three  to  four  per  cent,  when  it  is  less  so.  In  some  cases,  where 
attempts  were  made  to  cultivate  under  sparse  shade,  with  the  view  of 
securing  some  of  the  advantages  that  attend  culture  in  the  open,  the 
destruction  has  been  very  heavj',  averaging  from  twenty  to  thirty  per 
cent.,  and,  in  others  in  which  artificial  shade  was  reared  some  time 
subsequent  to  the  planting  of  the  coffee,  it  varies  from  eight  to  ten 
per  cent.  Taking  the  whole  of  the  properly  shaded  coffee  in  the  dis- 
trict, the  mean  average  loss  Avould  amount  to  about  three  per  cent., 
and  in  addition  to  this,  probably  about  five  per  cent,  of  trees  have  been 
injured  by  the  borer,  but  are  still  alive  and  likely  to  recover.  On 
native  estates,  the  loss  has  been  somewhat  heavier,  rancrincr  from 
three  to  five  per  cent.,  and  a  fair  average  for  the  whole  would  be  about 
four  per  cent.  ;  while  of  injured  trees  likely  to  recover,  there  would 
be  from  six  to  eight  percent.  The  greater  damage  sustained  by  this 
class  of  property  is  easily  accounted  for,  by  the  inferior  style  of  culture 
generally  followed  by  native  owners.  Adopting  these  estimates  then, 
the  mean  total  loss  on  all  shaded  estates  in  Munzerabad  amounts 
to  35  per  cent.,  and  as  will  presently  be  seen,  is  very  small  in  com- 
parison with  the  damage  sustained  in  other  districts. 

Coorg  : — In  Coorg  the  borer  has  been  noticed  more  or  less 
during  the  last  twelve  years.  It  first  made  its  appearance  in  the  hot 
lateritic  districts  of  Southern  Coorg,  but  for  some  years  did  not 
attract  much  attention.  In  1865,  it  spread  to  other  parts  of  the  dis- 
trict, and  in  186(3,  it  multiplied  as  if  by  some  miraculous  power, 
appearing  everywhere,  and  exciting  general  anxiety.  In  the  sprino- 
of  1867,  the  mortality  amongst  trees  was  so  general,  sudden,  and 
extensive,  that  many  anticipated  the  complete  extirpation  of  the 
plant,  and  with  ruin  apparently  staring  them  in  the  face,  could  no 
longer  conceal  their  fears.  From  time  to  time  accordingly,  various 
communications  appeared  in  the  columns  of  the  local  papers,  givino- 
gloomy  accounts  of  the  state  of  affairs,  and  anxiously  enquiring 
after  some  means  that  would  enable  the  planter  to  destroy  this  tiny 
but  terrible  enemy  to  his  crops.  As  might  have  been  expected,  a 
good  deal  of  crude  advice  was  offered.     Some  of  the  remedies  pro- 


58 

posed  were  manifestly  absurd,*  and  others  impracticable  on  the 
large  scale,  so  that,  on  the  whole,  these  appeals  did  not  elicit  much 
really  valuable  information.  In  the  month  of  October  1867,  the 
attention  of  the  Supreme  Government  was  attracted  to  the  subject, 
and  as  the  sandalwood  in  Coorg  was  also  said  to  be  suffering  from  the 
ravages  of  a  borer,  it  was  deemed  necessary  to  order  a  special  official 
investigation. 

Dividing  Coorg  into  two  districts,  as  naturally  divided  by  the 
Caii very,  the  greatest  damage  from  the  ravages  of  the  insect  has 
been  sustained  in  the  Southern  division,  the  land  under  culture 
there  being  generally  lower,  and  the  climate  hotter  than  in  the 
northern  section.  In  the  tract  to  the  west  of  Veerajpettah,  sweep- 
ing round  from  Periambady,  the  loss  has  been  very  heav}7,  ranging 
from  five  to  sixty  per  cent.  Onthe  other  hand, the  estates  on  and  near 
the  Periambady  Ghat  road  have  escaped  in  a  remarkable  manner, 
but  a  very  few  bored  trees  having  been  found  prior  to  the  date  of 
my  visit  in  December.  All  0f  these  lie  on  the  immediate  western 
flank  of  the  great  m  ntain  chain,  where  they  receive  the  monsoon 
with  unbroken  force,  and  are  swept  with  strong  chill  winds  through- 
out the  year.  To  these  peculiarities  they  doubtless  owe  their  safety, 
the  climate,  as  in  the  case  of  the  estate  similarly  located  in  Munze- 
rabad,  being  such  as  to  destroy  or  keep  away  the  beetles.  In 
estates  to  the  east  of  Veerajpettah,  in  the  bamboo  district,  the  epi- 
demic has  not  generally  been  very  severe,  although  one,  the  oldest 
in  the  district,  has  been  all  but  completely  denuded  of  its  trees. 
Taking  the  whole  district  of  South  Coorg — good  and  bad  together — 
the  mean  loss  amounts  to  fourteen  per  cent.  In  the  northern  half, 
the  insect  has  been  most  destructive  on  estates  lying  east  of  Mercara, 
where,  as  already  stated,  the  rainfall  is  much  less,  and  the  air  hotter 
and  drier  than  towards  the  west.  Taking  the  whole  of  this  division, 
the  loss  ranges  from  one  to  ninety  per  cent.,  the  mean  being  about 
seven  per  cent.,t  or  one-half  that  in  South  Coorg.  We  have  thus  on 
European  property,  throughout  the  whole  province,  a  mean  loss  of  no 
less  than  10*1  per  cent.,  and  besides  this,  about  fifteen  per  cent,  of  trees 
have  been  more  or  less  injured,  of  which  about  three  per  cent,  may  yet 
be  expected  to  perish.     In  some  native  gardens  onthe  bare  exposed 


*  Sncli  as  fires  and  lanterns,  &c,  smeared  with  adhesive  substances  to  catch,  the 
beetles  at  night,  although  they  are  diurnal  in  their  habits  ! 

t  The  reason  for  the  mean  being  so  low  in  North  as  compared  with  South  Coorg, 
while  the  extremes  are  so  wiilc  apart  is,  that  estates  are  touch  more  numerous  in  the 
former,  and  the  average  was  ou  most  of  these  much  lower  thau  on  those  In  South  Coorg. 


53 

slopes  about  Mercara,  the  plants  have  been  almost  entirely  annihi- 
lated, and  the  general  loss  on  native  property  in  that  quarter  ranges 
from  fifteen  to  fifty  per  cent.  In  the  portion  of  North  Ooorg,  between 
Mercara  and  the  Cauvery,  it  has  been  much  less,  most  of  the  gardens 
there  being  under  natural  shade.  In  South  Coorg  too,  most  of  the 
native  gardens  are  under  shade,  and  where  this  has  been  perfect,  the 
loss  has  not  exceeded  five  per  cent.  In  many  instances,  however,  the 
forest  trees  had  from  various  causes  partially  died  out,  and  in  all 
such  the  loss  has  been  very  heavy,  the  extermination  being  generally 
complete  where  there  was  no  protection.*  Part  of  the  native  pro- 
perty in  Coorg  being  thus  entirely  or  partially  in  open  ground  and 
part  in  shade,  it  would,  for  statistical  purposes,  be  useless  to  give 
the  mean  loss  in  the  whole  collectively. 

Wynaad: — For  the  last  fifteen  or  twenty  years  the  borer  has 
been  known  in  Wynaad  under  the  name  of  the  worm,  and  the  beetle  as 
the  coffee  fly.     So  long  ago  as  1853,  one  estate  in  the  bamboo  district 
was  rendered  utterly  worthless  by  the  ravages  of  the  insect,  but  gen- 
erally speaking,  although  widely  diffused,  it  was  not  very  destructive, 
or  if  it  did  prove  so,  as  in  the  above  instance,  it  confined  itself  to  one 
estate  or  corner  of  a  district,  and  having  done  its  work,  the  invasion 
subsided.    Although  the  Wynaad  planter  has  thus  had  a  longer  ac- 
quaintance with  the  borer  than  those  in  any  other  quarter,  still  its 
.presence  does  not,  until  about  four  years  ago,  when  its  devastations 
began  to  be  very  extensive,  appear  to  have  excited  the  slightest  alarm. 
Trees  bored  down  to  the  roots  were  removed,  while  the  stems  of  those 
less  injured  were  cut  down  to  the  sound  wood,  and  as  the  losses  on  a 
large  estate  for  years  in  succession  rarely  exceeded  a  few  score  trees 
per  annum,  no  one  suspected  that  this  tiny  eneury  had  the  power  of 
multiplying  to  such  an  extent  as  to  become  a  scourge  and  a  terror- 
It  was,  indeed,  considered  as  one  of  those  inevitable  minor  evils  from 
insect   voracity,   which  every  cultivator   of  the  soil   has  to  endure 
patiently,  and  accordingly  no  special  remedy  was  ever  thought  of 
beyond  the  simple  expedient  just  mentioned.    In  1865,  however,  the 
increase  in  the  numberof  bored  trees  began  to  attractgeneralattention, 
and  planters  at  their  gatherings  were  wont  to  compare  notes  on  the 
sudden  multiplication  of  the  worm.     In  1866,  rumours  floated  about 
that  various  properties  in  dry  easterly  localities  were  being  decimated 
by  the  pest,  and  as  it  was  undoubtedly  on  the  increase  all  over  the 


*  Trees  originally  cultivated  in  shade  suffer  much  more  from  borer  when  deprived 
of  that  protection,  than  those  cultivated  throughout  in  open  ground. 


60 

district,  there  sprang  up  a  general  feeling  of  alarm.  In  1867,  the 
larva  appears  to  have  first  been  called  the  "  Borer,"  and  so  general  and 
extensive  was  the  destruction  going  on,  that  the  name  travelled  far 
beyond  the  range  of  the  district,  and  every  planter  felt  called  on  to 
brace  up  his  energies,  and  seek  to  overcome  an  enemy  that  threat- 
ened to  annihilate  his  crops.  To  many  the  question  arose,  "  Can  we 
continue  to  cultivate  coffee  in  Wynaad,  or  are  evil  days  come  upon 
us,  such  as  befel  the  nutmeg  planters  in  Singapore  f  The  dismay 
that  such  a  state  of  matters  created  can  be  better  imagined  than 
described.  Here  was  a  number  of  men,  many  with  large  pecuniary 
interests  at  stake,  threatened  with  complete  ruin,  after  enduring 
for  years  the  pains  of  exile,  a  toilsome  lot  and  many  hardships,  that 
they  might  be  able  to  go  back  to  their  native  land  with  a  compe- 
tency. To  bear  up  under  such  adverse  circumstances,  and  to  carry  on 
the  struggle  in  silence,  must  have  required  no  little  moral  courage, 
and  we  give  the  planters  of  Wynaad  credit  for  exhibiting  that  quality 
in  a  high  degree,  as  they  hardly  uttered  a  word  of  complaint  during 
a  cycle  of  disastrous  years.     The  district  is  divided  into 

North-west, 
South,  and 
South-East  Wynaad. 
In  North-West  Wynaad,  the  destruction  by  the  borer  seems  to 
have  been  most  extensive  around  Manantoddy,  and  in  bamboo  land 
towards  the  frontier  of  Coorg.  Some  properties  lying  near  the 
Mysore  road  have  been  completelj7  denuded,  nothing  remaining  but 
here  and  there  a  dry  skeleton  stump  ;  and  even  these  have  in  some 
instances  disappeared,  and  the  ground  become  covered  with  scrub 
jungle.  Some  old  estates  to  the  west  have  also  suffered  heavily,  the 
Joss  in  several  instances  being  quite  fifty  per  cent.  Towards  Periah, 
and  on  estates  to  the  north  of  Manantoddy,  the  damage  varies  very 
much,  ranging  from  less  than  one  to  fully  fifteen  per  cent.,  and  the  total 
mean  loss  in  North-West  Wynaad  would  be  from  eight  to  ten  per 
cent.  A  curious  example  of  the  effect  of  shade  as  a  preventive  of  borer 
exists  in  the  Club  compound  at  Manantoddy.  The  club-house  stands 
on  the  apex  of  a  conical  hill,  which  a  few  years  ago  was  covered 
with  thriving  coffee  trees,  but  at  the  present  day  all  these  have 
disappeared,  except  a  few  rows  on  each  side  of  the  road,  well  shaded 
by  fine  Jack  trees,  and  the  plants  thus  remaining  are  not  only 
alive,  but  green  and  flourishing.  A  better  proof  of  the  efficacy  of 
tuch  protection  could  hardly  be  desired,  and  it  seems  almost  as  if 


61 

the  incident  bad  taken  place  in  such  a  conspicuous  place,  for  the 
express  purpose  of  teaching  all  comers  a  lesson.  The  native  gardens 
in  North-West  Wynaad  are  partly  in  the  shade,  and  partly  in  the 
open,  and,  as  a  rule,  the  destruction  in  them  has  been  very  heavy, 
certainlyon  an  average  fifteen  per  cent.  In  South  Wynaad  the  losses 
have  been  heaviest  out  towards  the  bamboo  district,  but  all  parts 
have  suffered  more  or  less.  The  average  per-centage  of  loss,  however, 
is  somewhat  Jess  than  in  North-West  Wynaad,  and  does  not  probably 
exceed  five  per  cent.  In  South-East  Wynaad  the  per-centage  of  loss 
is  found  to  increase  the  farther  the  estate  lies  to  the  east,  and  in  some 
quarters  the  destruction  has  been  complete,  or  will  certainly  be  so  at 
no  distant  date.  On  the  whole,  estates  in  this  quarter  have  suffered 
quite  as  much,  if  not  more,  than  those  located  in  the  northern  part  of 
the  district,  and  I  reckon  the  general  loss  about  ten  per  cent.  Taking 
the  whole  district  of  Wynaad,  the  mean  loss  would  be  about  eight  or 
nine  per  cent.,  or  slightly  less  thau  in  Coorg. 


CHAPTER  VII.— PREVENTIVE  AND  REMEDIAL  MEASURES  FOR  THE 
RAVAGES  OF  THE  BORER. 
The  application  of  means  to  destro}'  the  borer,  or  prevent  its 
attacks  is,  owing  to  some  peculiarities  in  its  habits  and  economy, 
rendered  very  difficult.  In  the  case  of  the  sugar-cane  borer  already 
referred  to,  the  planter  was  able  to  collect  and  destroy  the  insect  in 
the  chrysalis  stage,  as  it  was  then  attached  to  the  leaves  of  the  plant, 
but  the  coffee  borer  lives  both  as  larva  and  pupa  in  the  interior  of 
the  stem,  and  can  only  be  reached  b}'  cutting  down  the  tree.  To 
this  measure  there  would  be  no  great  objection,  provided  the  enemy 
appeared  in  limited  numbers,  but  unfortunately  it  is  generally  so 
numerous,  that  to  cut  every  infested  stem  would  be  tantamount  to  the 
destruction  of  more  than  half  the  trees  on  an  estate.  Again,  in  the 
case  of  insects  of  nocturnal  habits,  the  numbers  may  be  rapidly 
diminished  by  displaying  lights,  to  which  they  readily  fly,  and 
having  some  simple  contrivance  to  secure  them  when  under  the 
influence  of  this  glamour.  But  the  borer  beetle  loving  the  day  and 
bright  sunshine  is  proof  against  any  such  lure,  and  even  saccharine 
sweets,  which  few  insects  can  resist,  and  which  are  readily  made  the 
means  of  their  destruction,  have  for  it  not  the  slightest  attraction. 
The  fact,  too,  of  the  beetle  appearing  in  nearly  every  month  of  the 
year,  coupled  with  its  small  size  and  active  movements,  render  any 


62 

attempt  to  secure  it  by  day  amongst  the  trees  rather  difficult.  On 
the  slightest  alarm  it  drops  on  the  ground,  and  it  requires  sharp  eyes 
and  nimble  fingers  to  pick  it  out  from  amongst  the  weeds  or  loose 
earth.  In  the  further  consideration  of  this  subject,  I  shall  first  notice 
remedial,  and  thereafter  preventive  measures. 

Remedial  measures  : — The  number  of  these  which  has  been  pro- 
posed is  very  great,  but  I  shall  only  notice  such  as  are  of  a  really 
practical  nature,  and  of  which  the  majority  have  been  tested  by 
experience.  The  female  beetles,  it  will  be  remembered,  deposit  their 
e<yo-s,  in  the  cracks  of  the  bark,  and  are  most  abundant  just  after  the 
rains,  and  about  the  middle  of  the  hot  season.  At  this  period  of  its 
existence,  therefore,  the  enemy  is  to  a  certain  extent  in  the  power  of 
the  planter,  as  he  may  in  various  ways  attack  the  ova.  One  very 
common  and  successful  expedient  has  been  to  remove  all  the  outer 
cracked  layers  of  the  bark  from  the  stem,  and  in  doing  so,  the  eggs 
are  either  crushed  or  rubbed  off.  This  operation  may  be  performed 
either  with  a  piece  of  curved  iron  with  a  blunt  edge,  or,  better  still, 
with  a  bit  of  rough  coir  rope  passed  once  round  the  stem,  and  firmly 
pulled  first  in  one  direction  and  then  in  another  by  a  coolie  holding 
an  end  in  each  hand.  There  is  some  risk  attending  the  use  of  the 
iron  scraper,  as,  if  not  closely  watched,  the  coolie  will  often  remove 
the  entire  bark.  On  the  whole,  therefore,  the  coir  rope  is  perhaps  the 
better  implement  of  the  two,  although  with  it  it  takes  a  little  more 
time  and  exertion  to  get  through  the  work.  Another  way  of  getting 
rid  of  the  ova  is  by  the  application  of  some  fluid  that  will  destroy 
their  vitality.  A  very  effectual  wash  for  this  purpose  may  be  made, 
by  mixing  slaked  lime,  that  has  for  some  time  been  exposed  to  the 
atmosphere,  and  sal  ammoniac  in  hot  water.  The  latter  is  procurable 
in  every  bazaar  at  a  very  moderate  cost,  and  is  called  in  Tamil 
Navacharuin,  and  in  Hindustani  Nowshader.  The  proportions  are 
two  parts  of  old  lime,  one  of  sal  ammoniac,  and  eight  of  boiling  water. 
Mix  and  stir  well  until  nearly  cold,  and  then  add  twelve  parts  of  cold 
water,  and  apply  grounds  and  all  freely  to  the  stems,  daubing  into  the 
cracks  with  brushes,  which  may  be  made  from  the  leaf  stalks  of  the 
cocoanut  tree.  A  weak  solution  of  carbolic  acid  will  also  have  the 
desired  effect,  and  as  it  is  made  from,  and  has  the  smell  of  coal  tar 
it  has  the  advantage  of  being  most  offensive  to  the  beetles.  It  may 
be  used  in  the  proportion  of  one  part  of  acid  to  thirty  of  water,  and 
should  also  be  well  rubbed  in  so  as  to  penetrate  every  crevice.  The 
cost  in  England  of  the  brown  commercial  carbolic  acid  is  about  two 


63 

and  a  half  rupees  per  gallon.  Coal  tar  diluted  with  fish-oil  may  also 
be  used,  and  this  mixture  not  only  destroj's  any  ova  that  may  have 
been  lodged,  but  forms  a  mechanical  covering  highl}'  offensive  to  the 
beetles.  I  think  it  highly  probable  too,  that  a  moderately  strong 
solution  of  common  brown  salt  would  prove  destructive  to  the  eggs. 
When  the  larvse  have  once  entered  the  stem,  no  external  application 
will  of  course  be  of  the  slightest  value,  but  if  the  injured  trees  are 
not  too  numerous,  they  should  be  cut  and  burned  immediately,  so  as 
to  destroy  the  colony  in  the  interior.  The  coolies  very  soon 
learn  to  distinguish  a  bored  tree  by  its  peculiar  appearance,  and 
should  be  instructed  to  test  the  stem  by  giving  it  a  sudden  wrench, 
when,  if  infested  with  borer,  it  is  sure  to  snap  across  at  the  point 
where  most  injury  has  been  done.  The  next  point  to  ascertain  is, 
whether  the  insect  has  extended  its  depredations  to  the  roots,  and 
if  so,  it  should  be  dug  up.  If  safe,  the  root  may  be  left,  the  stem 
being  cut  across  below  the  fracture  with  a  saw,  so  as  to  leave 
a  clean  wound.  Such  a  stump  generally  throws  up  a  number  of 
suckers,  which  should  all  be  allowed  to  grow  for  some  months,  and 
then  the  strongest  one  may  be  selected  and  kept,  and  the  others  cut 
away.  If  all  the  suckers,  save  one,  are  cut  down  from  the  first  it 
grows  too  rapidly,  and  being  tender,  rarely  survives  the  hot  season. 
This  weeding  out  of  trees  containing  the  insect  is  of  all  remedies 
perhaps  the  most  effectual  for  borer,  but  of  course  it  can  only  be 
put  in  practice  when  the  bored  trees  are  not  very  numerous.  When 
more  than  thirty  percent,  areattacked,  it  is  better  perhaps  to  let  the 
trees  remain,  as  matters  can  hardl\r  be  worse,  and  there  is  a  chance 
of  many  of  them  recovering.  At  the  same  time,  no  pains  should  be 
spared  to  render  the  trees  as  vigorous  as  possible,  as  they  will  thus 
be  enabled  in  many  cases  to  recover  from  the  effects  of  the  injury 
they  may  have  sustained. 

Preventive  measures  : — The  value  of  shade  in  protecting  coffee 
from  the  ravages  of  the  borer  has  already  been  so  fully  discussed, 
that  it  will  be  unnecessary  to  say  much  more  on  the  subject  here. 
It  is  only  on  young  estates,  generally  speaking,  that  it  can  be  made 
use  of,  as  the  trees  are  difficult  to  rear  on  land  long  under  culture, 
and  take  so  long  to  grow,  that  in  all  probability  the  coffee  will  be 
destroyed  before  they  are  of  any  service.  On  old  estates  in  open 
ground,  then  the  planter  must  trust  more  to  other  resources,  and 
nothing  will  be  of  frreater  service  than  regular  manuring",  diviner 
and  weeding,  and  careful  pruning  and   draining.       In  short,  high 


64 

culture.  At  the  same  time  the  stems  may  be  protected  in  various 
ways,  so  as  to  render  it  impossible  for  the  beetle  to  find  any  place 
suitable  for  the  hatching  of  its  eggs.  Observing  that  in  young  trees 
the  ova  are  generally  deposited  not  far  from  the  base  of  the  stem, 
some  planters  have  drawn  up  the  earth  around  this,  in  hopes  that 
it  would  keep  the  enemy  at  bay,  but  this  expedient  is  not  very 
successful,  as  when  a  female  alights  on  a  tree,  she  will  attack  the 
upper  portion  of  the  stem  on  finding  the  lower  inaccessible.  A  mix- 
ture of  cow-dung  and  clay,  such  as  that  used  by  natives  for  smear- 
ing the  floors  and  walls  of  their  houses,  may  however  be  applied 
with  advantage.  It  should  cover  every  portion  of  the  stem,  and  if 
carefully  put  on,  will  last  through  the  monsoon,  except  in  very  ex- 
posed places.  A  very  good  compost  for  coating  the  stems  may  be 
made  as  follows  : — 

One  basket  of  fresh  cow-dung. 

Half  a  basket  of  quick  lime. 

A  small  quantity  of  wood  ashes. 
Mix  with  as  much  soap-suds  (country  soap)  and  water  as  will 
make  it  of  the  consistence  of  a  thick  paint,  and  apply  with  the 
cocoanut  brushes.  Lime  wash  is  also  a  very  good  application,  but 
apt  to  scale  off  when  the  plant  is  shaken  by  the  wind,  and  to  be 
washed  off  by  rain.  Covering  the  stem  with  moss  will  also  afford 
efficient  protection.  It  should  be  laid  on  about  two  inches  thick 
and  secured  with  bands  of  fibre,  and  if  applied  about  the  beginning 
of  the  monsoon,  will  live  and  beccme  firmly  banded  in  its  new  posi- 
tion. Sometimes,  when  debarred  from  the  stem,  the  beetle  will  lay 
its  e^crs  on  a  stout  branch,  but  this  is  not  common,  and  does  not  do 
a  great  deal  of  harm.  As  regards  estates  in  shade,  care  must  be 
taken  to  supply  the  place  of  trees  that  may  perish,  as  whenever  a 
sunny  opening  occurs,  the  enemy  takes  advantage  of  the  breach,  and 
at  once  becomes  master  of  the  position.  Manuring,  &c,  must  also 
be  just  as  carefullly  attended  to  as  in  estates  in  open  ground. 


CHAPTER  VIII.—  FRIENDS  AND  FOES  OF  THE  COFFEE  PLANT. 

In  every  tract  of  forest  or  land  in  a  state  of  nature,  a  due 
balance  is  maintained  amongst  the  various  plants  and  animals  that 
live  there,  so  long  as  there  is  not  any  disturbing  cause,  such  as 
clearance  or  culture.     "Whenever  such  takes  place,  the  law   that 


65 

secured  this  balance  by  a  war  of  species  is  upset,  and  but  too  often 
noxious  kinds, being  no  longer  held  in  check  multiply  in  an  extraordi- 
nary manner.  When  the  land  is  cultivated,  a  thousand  noxious  weeds 
contend  with  the  crops  for  possession  of  the  soil,  and  hordes  of 
creatures  that  prey  on  them  appear  on  the  scene.  It  is  interesting 
to  note,  however,  that  even  when  man  thus  sets  himself  up  as  master 
of  the  position,  nature  still  tries  by  various  agencies  to  keep 
destructive  creatures  within  due  bounds,  and  indeed  but  for  such 
aid,  he  would  at  times  be  driven  vanquished  from  the  field.  Thus 
the  increase  of  insects  destructive  to  coffee,  has  been  followed  by  an 
increase  in  insect-eating  birds  and  reptiles,  and  the  good  that  these 
effect  can  hardly  be  over-estimated  ;  for  a  pair  of  birds,  with  a  nest 
full  of  hungry  crops,  will  probably  destroy  more  insects  in  a  day, 
than  twice  as  many  coolies  sent  to  catch  and  kill.  It  is  not  my  in- 
tention to  notice  all  the  animals  that  directly  or  indirectly  are  friend- 
ly to,  or  prey  on,  the  planners'  trees  and  crops,  but  only  such  as  are 
most  remarkable  from  the  amount  of  good  or  ill  that  they  do. 


FRIENDS. 

Mammals. 

Mungoos  : — This  creature  (Herpestes  griseus)  holds  rather  a 
•dubious  position,  inasmuch  that  although  a  stern  foe  to  the  coffee 
rat,  it  also  destroys  some  of  the  planters'  best  friends,  such  as  lizards. 
Its  presence,  however,  is  generally  eneoui'aged  on  estates,  with  the 
view  of  destroying  snakes. 

Birds. 

The  birds  that  prove  friendly  to  the  planter,  by  destroying  in- 
sects, &c,  are  so  numerous,  that  only  some  of  the  more  common  ones 
can  be  mentioned.  As  already  stated,  some  species  of  birds,  espe- 
cially the  insectivorous,  have  become  more  numerous  as  clearings 
have  been  extended,  simply  from  the  circumstances  that  food  sup- 
plies have  become  more  abundant,  and  because  they  prefer  the  coffee 
estate,  with  its  convenient  bushes  and  rows  of  roosting  trees,  to  the. 
dense  jungle. 


Owl. — Of  these,  two  species,  belonging  to  the  genus  Syrnium, 
inhabit  the  patches  of  forest  near  coffee  estates,  and  sally  forth  at 
night  to  prey  on  rats,  mice,  &c.  The  one  is  the  "  Brown  wood  owl," 
and  the  other  the  "Mottled  wood  owl,"  of  which  the  former  seems 
the  more  common.  They  are  great  friends  to  the  planter,  inasmuch 
as  they  kill  the  "  coffee  rat,"  but  are  objects  of  horror  to  the  coolies, 
who  have  various  superstitious  ideas  regarding  them. 

The  Jay,  or  Indian  Roller : — Is  not  unfrequently  seen  in  the 
bamboo  district,  and  is  busy  all  day  long  picking  up  grasshoppers 
and  beetles.  He  perches  on  some  fire-scathed  stump  or  tree,  and 
on  seeing  an  insect  on  the  ground  or  a  bush,  swoops  down  on  it 
with  unerring  aim. 

Woodpeckers  : — Various  species  of  these  inhabit  the  jungles  sur- 
rounding coffee  estates,  where  they  live  mostly  on  the  larvae 
and  pupaa  of  insects  found  beneath  the  bark  and  in  the  wood  of 
trees.  They  are  very  shy  birds,  but  I  have  found  traces  of  their 
presence  in  remote  corners  of  coffee  estates,  when  they  had  come  to 
feed  on  the  larvse  and  probably  the  beetle  of  the  borer. 

Grow  Pheasant,or  common  Concal : — This  bird  (the  Centropus 
rufipennis)  is  very  common,  particularly  on  the  eastern  margin 
of  the  coffee  zone.  It  feeds  on  the  ground  and  on  bushes,  and  lives 
on  insects  and  small  reptiles.  Its  ally,  the  Cuckoo,  is  also  insectivo- 
rous, but  not  common  enough  to  require  special  notice. 

Sun  Birch,  &c.  :— Several  of  these  frequent  the  forests  in  Wy- 
naad  and  Coorg,  but  they  are  not  common.  The  one  seen  most 
frequently  is  the  Purple  Honey  Sucker  (Arachnechthralotenia).  All 
of  them  eat  small  insects  found  in  the  flowers,  or  on  the  leaves  of 
bushes  and  trees.  One  or  two  Nuthatches  also  frequent  the  coffee 
districts,  but  they  seem  rarely  to  leave  the  jungle. 

The  Hoopoo :— This  bird  (the  Upupa  ceylonensis)  is  common 
on  clearings,  and  walks  about  under  the  coffee  bushes,  picking  up 
beetles  and  various  large  and  small  insects. 

Shrikes  :— This  family,  of  which  several  species  frequent  coffee 
clearings  are  all  insect-eating.  The  (Dircrurus  macrocercus)  King- 
crow  is  the  one  most  commonly  seen,  and  is  constantly  engaged 
either  on  the  wing,  pursuing  moths,  butterflies,  and  dragon-flies,  or 
on  the  ground,  hunting  for  beetles  and  grasshoppers.  The  Black 
Dronge  (Edolius  malabaricus)  is  also  a  famous  hunter,  and  may  often 
be  seen  on  bamboo  and  other  low  jungles  near  coffee  clearings. 


67 

Bird  of  Paradise: — This  beautiful  creature  (Tchitrea  paradisi) 
is  often  seen  in  sparse  jungle,  gliding  about  from  tree  to  tree,  with 
its  long  white  tail  sailing  behind.  It  catches  insects  on  the  wing. 
Several  Fly  Catchers  also  exist  in  the  coffee  districts,  and  live  mostly 
on  very  small  insects  which  they  catch  on  the  wing. 

Thrushes  : — Several  of  these  voracious  insect-feeders  are  found 
in  Wynaad,  Coorg,  and  Mysore.  One,  the  (Myiophonus  Horsfieldii), 
Whistling  Thrush,  is  well  known  on  account  of  its  peculiar  notes, 
which  seem  to  come  from  a  man  trying  to  whistle  some  tune  of  which 
he  has  an  imperfect  recollection.  The  Blue  Rock-Thrush,  Ground- 
Thrush,  and  Black-capped  Blackbird  are  also  not  uncommon,  and 
particularly  industrious  in  picking  up  caterpillars,  beetles,  and  all 
kinds  of  insects. 

Mynas  : — These  birds  have  increased  very  much  of  late  in 
coffee  estates,  appearing  in  large  flocks,  and  proving  of  immense  be- 
nefit to  the  planter  from  the  number  of  insects  of  all  kinds  which 
they  devour.  The  kinds  seen  belong  chiefly  to  the  genera  Acri- 
dothens,  and  Temenuchus.  The  Hill  Myna  (Eulabes  religiosa)  with 
its  yellow  wattles  is  very  common.  It  eats  the  seeds  of  various 
noxious  weeds,  and  I  am  inclined  to  think  does  not  disdain  an 
insect  when  a  tit-bit  comes  in  its  way. 

Sparrows: — The  common  impudent  house-sparrow  (Passer 
Indicus)  has  become  numerous  of  late  years  in  Coffee  estates,  but 
probably  migrates  to  the  east  during  the  rains,  as  it  loves  a  dry 
coat  and  quarters.  It  lives  on  seeds  and  insects,  and  has  an 
insatiable  appetite. 

Larks  : — At  least  one  Bush  Lark  (Mirafra)  and  one  Tree  Lark 
live  in  the  coffee  districts,  and  prove  very  destructive  to  insects. 

Peacocks : — This  beautiful  bird  (Pavo  cristatus)  is  very  com- 
mon in  some  of  the  planting  districts,  more  especially  in  South-East 
Wynaad  and  Mysore.  It  is,  however,  sadly  persecuted,  the  jungle 
tribes  catching  it  with  snares,  and  the  sportsman  killing  it  with  his 
gun.  It  is  fond  of  grubs  and  beetles,  and  even  devours  small  snakes 
and  other  reptiles. 

Jungle  Fowl  and  Spur  Fowl: — The  Jungle  Fowl  (Gallus  Sonne- 
ratii)  and  Spur  Fowl  (Qulloperdix  spadiceus),  more  especially  the 
former,  are  extremely  common  in  the  coffee  districts,  and  may  often 
be  seen  in  the  early  mornings  running  on  the  paths  and  between 
the  rows  of  trees  on  estates.     They  are  both  very  fond  of  insects, 


68 

and  instead  of  being  shot  down  and  frightened,  should  be  encouraged 
as  staunch  friends  to  the  planter.  Quails  (Turnix)  appear  to  be  on 
the  increase,  frequenting  little  spots  of  jungle  and  grassy  patches  on 
coffee  estates. 

Reptiles. 

Lizards  :■ — In  the  list  of  friends,  the  lizards  are  rather  conspi- 
cuous, on  account  of  their  numbers  and  voracity.  They  have,  like 
some  of  the  birds,  undoubtedly  increased  as  the  jungles  were  clear- 
ed away,  and  destroy  immense  numbers  of  insects.  Beautiful  green 
and  striped  lizards  are  very  common  on  coffee  estates,  and  several 
species  of  Calotes  may  be  seen  hanging  on  to  the  branches  and  look- 
ing out  for  beetles,  which  their  powerful  jaws  enable  them  to  crush 
with  ease. 

Snakes  : — Of  these  the  Rat  Snake  (Coryphodon)  is  a  great  friend 
to  the  planter,  and  should  never  be  molested  or  destroyed.  He  is  a 
most  indefatigable  enemy  of  the  coffee  rat  (Golunda  Ellioti)  which 
has  in  some  seasons  proved  very  destructive,  appearing  in  thousands, 
and  gnawing  off  all  the  tender  wood  from  the  trees.  The  other 
snakes  seen  on  coffee  estates  hold  a  very  dubious  position  as  regards 
their  services,  being  but  too  ready  to  prey  on  the  friendly  lizards 
and  toads.  A  very  interesting  experiment  in  the  way  of  checks  is 
being  conducted  by  Mr.  Thomas,  Collector,  Mangalore,  who  has  sent 
snakes  and  mongooses  to  the  maritime  islands  in  his  collectorate,  to 
keep  down  the  rats,  which  are  so  numerous  that  the  inhabitants  are 
obliged  to  organise  monthly  hunting  parties  for  their  destruction. 

Toads  : — The  members  of  the  despised,  dreaded,  and  persecuted 
family  of  Batrachians  (Bufo)  are  staunch  allies  of  the  planter,  as 
they  are  very  fond  of  insects,  and  are  very  expert  in  catching  them. 

Insects. 

Amongst  insects  the  coffee  has  many  foes,  and  so  far  as  I  know, 
hardly  a  friend.  When  the  tree  contains  borer,  the  large  pugna- 
cious red  ant  sometimes  enters  it  from  below,  removing  the  debris  of 
the  wood  from  the  tunnels,  and  killing  and  eating  not  only  the  larva, 
but  even  the  beetles.  Although  the  tree  is  thus  freed  its  enemy  of 
the  borer,  the  clearing  of  the  tunnels  is  of  dubious  benefit,  as  it 
permits  the  air  and  rain  to  enter  more  freely,  and  hastens  the  decay 
of  the  stem.  This  species  sometimes  build  their  nests  amongst  the 
offee,  but  are  an  intolerable  nuisance,  being  most  irascible  and 
biting  with  the  utmost  fury  the  naked  bodies  of  the  coolies.     Some 


69 

jungle  tribes  and  coolies,  however,  eat  them,  seizing  them  in  hand- 
fuls  and  chewing  them  on  the  spot! 

Spiders. 
There  are  several  species  of  net- weaving  spiders  found  on  coffee 
estates,  belonging  to  the  genus  Epeira,  which  would  be  quite  capable 
of  killing,  and  no  doubt  do  destroy  borer  beetles  or  moths  when 
they  get  entangled  in  their  snares.  A  large  and  ferocious  My7 gale  is 
also  not  uncommon,  making  his  den,  a  burrow  six  or  eight  inches 
deep,  in  the  scarps  of  the  roads.  Outside  there  is  a  little  funnel-shaped 
expansion  of  silken  network,  with  a  hole  large  enough  to  admit  the 
finger.  On  digging  away  the  earth,  the  burrow  is  found  lined 
throughout  its  entire  length  with  this  beautiful  web,  which  is  of 
considerable  strength,  and  very  close  in  texture.  At  the  extreme 
end  the  hole  enlarges  into  a  small  chamber,  in  which  the  creature  hides 
itself  during  the  day.  If  disturbed  it  gets  irate  and  shews  fight, 
and  so  hideous  is  its  appearance,  that  1  have  never  had  the  courage 
to  touch  one  with  the  naked  hand.  It  is  nocturnal  in  its  habits,  and 
preys  on  caterpillars,  moths,  and  beetles. 


FOES- 

The  enemies  of  the  coffee  are  very  numerous,  and  it  will  only 
be  possible  to  notice  some  of  the  more  notable  amongst  them. 

Mammals. 

Monkeys  : — Several  species  are  found  in  the  coffee  zone.  The 
Black  Neilgherry  Langur  (Presbytes  jubatus)  sometimes  appears  on 
the  borders  of  estates  near  the  crest  of  the  ghats,  but  is  shy  and 
does  little  damage.  The  Inuus  Silenus,  dark  in  eolour,  and  bearded 
like  the  Ceylon  Wandaroo,  is  rather  widely  distributed,  but  prefers 
tall  jungle  to  a  coffee  estate.  The  large  grey  monkey  (Macacus)  is 
most  numerous,  and  is  a  great  pest  on  shaded  estates  in  JUy^sore. 
It  lives  in  the  large  trees,  and  is  very  wary,  retreating  on  the  slight- 
est disturbance  to  the  topmost  branches  and  concealing  itself  amongst 
the  foliage.  It  eats  an  immense  quantity  of  coffee,  as  the  fruit  gets 
ripe,  does  not  despise  the  young  leaves  when  hungry,  and  breaks 
and  injures  the  branches  by  climbing  and  jumping  about  upon  them. 
Large  numbers  of  them  are  shot,  but  they  appear  to  multiply  very 


70 

fast.  They  merely  eat  the  pulp  of  the  fruit,  spitting  out  the  seeds. 
Coolies  are  fond  of  their  flesh,  which  is  said  to  be  any  thing  but  dis- 
agreeable. 

Jackal  :••— This  animal  (Canis  aureus)  would  appear  to  be  omni- 
verous.  On  the  plains,  near  villages,  it  preys  on  sick  goats  or  sheep, 
and  does  not  despise  the  vilest  carion,  and  in  the  coffee  districts  it 
greedily  devours  the  ripe  coffee  berries.  The  beans  pass  through, 
its  intestines  uninjured,  and  indeed  they  are  said  to  be  rather  im- 
proved by  the  process,  acquiring  a  particular  gout,  highly  relished 
by  connoisseurs  !  There  seems  to  be  no  method  of  getting  rid  of  them, 
except  by  poison  distributed  in  the  body  of  any  dead  animal. 

Rats: — The  Coffee  Rat  (Golunda  Ellioti)  is  at  times  a  terrible 
pest,  and  is  rather  curious  in  its  habits,  appearing  in  myriads  one 
season  and  then  disappearing  for  years.     This  no  doubt  arises,  as 
the  natives  suppose,  from  its  being  migratory,  so  that  when  the  food 
supplies  get  scarce  in  one  quarter,  it  moves  awajr  to  another  district. 
Its  ordinary  food  is  the  seed  of  the  bamboo  and  various  jungle  plants, 
and  it  probably  only  attacks  the  coffee,  when  these  are  not  procu- 
rable. The  natives  of  Ceylon  say  that  it  usually  lives  on  the  Nilloo, 
a  Strobilanthus,  and  that  this  blossoms  once  in  seven  years,  and 
then  dies  ;  an  occuiTence  which,  by  depriving  the  rats  of  their  ordi- 
nary food,  sends  them  forth  to  spoil  the  coffee  estates.     Curious  to 
say,  some  of  the  natives  of  Coorg  have  a  somewhat  similar  story. 
Their  belief  is,  that  the  bamboo  seeds  generally  only  once  in  sixty 
3'ears,  and  that  the  abundance  of  food  in  that  season  causes  the  rats 
to  multiply  to  an  enormous  extent.     Thereafter,  when  the  whole  of 
the  bamboo  rice  has  been  eaten  up,  the}'  are  obliged  to  attack  the 
coffee  or  any  other  plant  on  which  they  can  feed.     The  bamboo  rat, 
when  plundering  a  coffee  estate,  lives  during  the  day  amongst  the 
roots  of  the  nearest  bit  of  jungle,  and  sallies  forth  at  night  from 
this  retreat.     It  does  not  appear  to  touch  the  berries,  but  eats  ten- 
der buds  and  succulent  shoots,  and  uhews  the  bark  of  }Toung  wood. 
To  get  these  it  climbs  the  tree,  and  walking  out  on  the  branches, 
divides  the  twigs  with  its  sharp  incisors,  as  clean  as  if  they  had  been 
cut  with  a  pruning  knife.     It  then  descends,  and  either  feeds  on 
the  spot,  or  drags  away  the  spoil  to  its  hiding  place.     When  the 
plants  are  very  young,  it  sometimes  gnaws  them  off  a  few  inches 
above  the  ground.     Various  means  have  been  tried  for  getting  rid 
of  rats,  but  they  are  in  general  so  numerous,  that  the  few  hundreds 


71 

killed  by  poison  or  trap  are  as  nothing  compared  with  the  hosts 
that  remain  to  carry  on  the  work  of  destruction.  Some  years  ago 
field-mice  became  very  numerous  and  destructive  in  the  New  Forest 
in  England,  and  after  every  ordinary  device  had  been  tried  in  vain, 
were  caught  by  means  of  pits  dug  in  the  ground,  very  mucn  broader 
at  the  bottom  than  the  top,  so  that  when  the  creatures  in  their 
peregrinations  fell  in,  they  found  it  impossible  to  get  out  again.*  Pos- 
sibly this  plan  would  prove  effectual  in  the  case  of  the  coffee  rats,  as 
it  is  nearly  impossible  to  get  them  to  touch  poison,  and  they  have 
an  instinctive  dread  of,  and  avoid  all  common  traps. 

Squirrels : — The  Broivn  Squirrel  and  the  common    Grey  eat 
the  coffee  berries,  but  the  damage  they  do  is  very  inconsiderable. 

Buffaloes  and  Bullocks : — These  rarely  touch  the  leaves  of  the 
coffee,  but  by  brushing  against  the  branches  they  frequently  shake 
down  the  fruit.  Buffaloes,  too,  have  a  nasty  habit  of  rubbing  against, 
or  even  rolling  over  on  the  trees,  by  which  the  branches  and  some- 
times the  stems  are  broken  and  smashed.  The  amount  of  injury 
done  in  this  way  is  in  some  districts  very  great,  as  the  owners  of 
the  cattle  generally  drive  them  out  into  the  jangle,  and  allow  them 
to  range  wherever  they  please.  Bullocks  also  break  branches  by 
making  rubbing  posts  of  the  trees,  but  are  most  destructive  where 
the  charcoal  tree  or  jack  is  being  raised  for  shade.  They  are  ex- 
tremely fond  of  the  leaves  of  these,  and  in  the  hot  season,  when 
grass  is  scarce,  whole  herds  rush  down  on  estates,  and  in  a  few  hours 
utterly  destroy  hundreds  of  saplings,  by  eating  off  the  tender  tops 
and  side  branches.  In  the  case  of  cattle  trespass,  the  planter  is  very 
rarely  able  to  obtain  redress,  as  the  animals  are  nearly  as  wild  as 
the  deer  of  the  forest,  and  most  difficult  to  catch  or  identify.  When 
pursued,  they  only  do  more  damage  by  running  over  the  trees,  and 
gaining  the  boundary  of  the  forest  disappear  and  are  lost  amid  its 
recesses.  Nothing  but  a  dense  rose,  or  other  prickly  hedge,  will 
keep  out  these  marauders,  and  if  it  has  one  weak  point,  they  are 
pretty  sure  to  discover  and  take  advantage  of  it  to  gain  admission  m 
In  several  districts,  such  as  Coorg,  the  nuisance  of  cattle  trespass  has 
become  so  great  as  to  be  almost  intolerable,  and  to  put  a  stop  to  it, 
some  modification  of  the  present  law  seems  desirable.  In  every 
case  in  which  the  cattle  are  caught  or  identified,  the  owner  should 
be  summarily  punished  with  a  fine  heavy  enough  to  make  him  dread 

*  London's  Encyclopaedia  of  Gardening,  p.  1154. 


72 

its  repetition,  while  every  facility  should  be  given  for  the  recovery, 
by  a  civil  action,  of  damages  according  to  the  injury  done. 

Insects. 

As  stated  already,  a  great  man}'  insects  injure  the  coffee  tree, 
but  it  would  be  out  of  place  to  notice  any  here,  except  those  which 
are  of  some  importance.  The  destructive  species  belong  to  the  orders 
Coleoptera,Orthoptera,  Lepidoptera,  and  Homoptera,  and  one  remark- 
able feature  with  regard  to  them  is  their  wide  distribution  in  a  north 
and  south  direction,  nearly  all  of  them  being  found  in  every  part  of 
the  coffee  zone.  This  may  be  accounted  for  by  the  uniformity  in 
physical  conformation,  flora  and  climate,  that  characterizes  the  track, 
and  by  the  absence  of  any  natural  barrier  to  migration,  such  as  a 
transverse  loft}'  mountain  range,  or  wide  gap  in  the  ghat  chain.  To 
the  west,  these  insects  can  hardly  be  said  to  extend  beyond  the  crest 
of  the  ghats,  the  lofty  peaks  that  rise  here  and  there,  and  the  abrupt 
descent  and  rapid  ehange  of  flora  and  climate  on  the  western  face 
having  proved  insuperable  obstacles  to  their  proceeding  in  that 
direction.  To  the  east,  their  range  is  greatly  more  extensive,  the 
descent  here  to  the  table-land  of  M/vsore  being  very  gradual  and 
unobstructed.  In  several  instances  I  have  found  the  Xylotrechus, 
thirty  miles  bej'ond  the  eastern  margin  of  the  coffee  zone,  and  so  far 
as  climate  and  elevation  go,  there  is  nothing  to  prevent  its  living  in 
any  part  of  Mysore.  Judging  from  its  habits,  there  is  strong  reason 
for  believing  that  it  was  originally  a  tenant  of  the  dry  jungles,  that 
prevail  towards  and  beyond  the  eastern  frontier  of  the  coffee  districts. 

CoLEOPTEKA. 

The  chief  of  these,  the  notorious  white  borer,  Xylotrechus  qua- 
drupes,  has  been  already  noticed,  and  no  other  member  of  the  family 
requires  to  be  described.  A  Brenthus  was  sent  to  me  as  a  borer 
from  Wynaad,  but  I  have  never  noticed  its  depredations,  or  secured 
the  insect  myself  on  a  coffee  plant.  Several  large  white  grubs,  the 
larvae  of  beetles,  attack  the  roots  of  the  coffee  tree,  gnawing  out  great 
gaps  in  them,  or  even  cutting  them  through  entirely.  They  live 
under  ground,  and  are  usually  found  near  rotten  stumps  or  logs,  in 
which  they  are  bred.  I  have  never  been  able  to  get  one  to  pass  into 
the  imago  state,  so  as  to  identify  it,  but  believe  that  there  are  two 
or  three  species  of  the  white  grub,  and  that  they  belong  to  the 
Lucanidae  or  Melolanthidse. 


73 

Orthoptera. 

In  most  decayed  logs  there  are  swarms  of  cockroaches,  but  as 
they  do  not  do  any  harm  to  the  coffee,  they  do  not  require  any  special 
notice  here.  It  is  otherwise  with  another  member  of  the  order,  a 
small  but  voracious  locust. 

Locusta  Coffe.e— (See  PI.  vi.) 

Of  small  size  ;  tegmina  and  wings  brownish  and  derlexed  ;  an- 
tennae short  and  filiform  ;  eyes  large  and  brilliant ;  abdomen  reddish  ; 
femora  with  brown  transverse  bars  on  a  yellowish  ground  ;  tarsi  with 
three  joints,  of  which  the  basal  one  is  long  and  marked  with  two  de- 
pressions on  the  underside  like  additional  joints.  This  insect  is 
most  abundant  in  dry  seasons,  and  seems  to  select  a  sunny  sheltered 
spot,  where  the  coffee  is  luxuriant  and  juicy,  as  the  scene  of  its 
depredations.  It  may  be  found  in  large  numbers  on  the  leaves 
which  it  destroys,  in  the  way  shewn  in  PI.  vi.,  and  when  these 
foil,  it  often  gnaws  off  the  bark  from  the  tender  young  wood.  The 
want  of  the  leaves  is  sure  to  cause  the  loss  of  crop  for  one  season,  and 
the  injury  done  to  the  branches  generally  kills  thera,  and  causes  the 
primaries  to  put  forth  a  number  of  irregular  shoots.  Hitherto  the 
insect  has  not  fortunately  been  very  numerous,  but  I  have  seen 
several  acres  of  trees  completely  stript  of  their  foliage  by  it,  and  as 
it  is  one  of  a  family  that  is  apt  suddenly  to  appear  in  overwhelm- 
ing numbers,  the  planter,  when  it  invades  his  property,  should  care- 
fully use  every  means  in  his  power  for  its  destruction.  The  most 
effectual  way  for  accomplishing  this  is  the  collecting  of  the  perfect 
insect  on  the  trees.  In  France,  the  Government  have  a  fixed  scale 
of  prices  for  the  eggs  and  perfect  insects,  half  a  franc  being  paid  for 
a  kilogramme  of  the  former,  and  a  quarter  of  a  franc  for  the  same 
quantity  of  the  latter — {  Westwood  on  Insects,  voL  1 ,  p.  459 .) 

Lepidoptera. 

Several  of  this  order  attack  the  coffee,  and  one  of  the  Hepialidse 
destroys  great  numbers  of  the  invaluable  charcoal  tree.  The 
larva  is  of  very  large  size,  and  its  presence  in  a  tree  is  indicated  by 
a  large  ball  of  wood-powder  on  the  exterior,  fastened  together  by 
delicate  silken  threads.  On  removing  this,  the  mouth  of  the  hole 
will  be  seen,  and  on  splitting  up  the  stem,  it  will  be  found  that  one 
branch  of  the  tunnel  generally  runs  in  an  upward,  and  another  in  a 


74 

downward  direction.  The  grub  is  from  three  to  four  inches  long 
thick,  fleshy,  and  of  a  pale  red  colour.  It  has  six  pectoral,  eight 
ventral,  and  two  anal  feet ;  and  is  a  very  powerful  creature, 
struggling  violently  in  the  hand  and  attacking  vigorously,  with  its 
powerful  jaws,  the  cork  of  a  bottle  in  which  it  may  be  confined. 
The  chrysalis  is  smaller,  of  a  red  colour,  and  rests  about  three 
months.  Its  abdominal  segments  are  furnished  with  transverse 
rows  of  minute  reflexed  spines,  and  some  weeks  before  the  moth 
emerges,  moved  by  some  wonderful  instinct,  it  pushes  itself  up  by 
means  of  these,  and  clears  away  the  blockading  mass  of  wood- 
powder  from  the  external  opening,  so  that  there  may  be  nothing  to 
prevent  the  escape  of  the  moth.  The  moth  measures  about 
three  and  a  half  inches  across  the  wings,  which  are  of  a  greyish 
brown  colour,  the  upper  ones  being  clouded  with  a  decided 
brown.  The  antennas  of  the  female  (I  have  not  seen  the  male), 
are  very  short  and  filiform.  The  wings  are  deflexed  in  repose, 
and  furnished  with  a  complicated  series  of  strong  nerves. 
Abdomen  elongated,  and  the  female,  when  touched,  discharges  with 
some  force  a  great  number  of  white  round  eggs,  which  shortly  turn 
black.  The  holes  made  by  this  formidable  creature  render  the  soft- 
wooded  stem  of  the  charcoal  tree  very  weak,  or  cause  it  to  rot  from 
water  entering  during  the  monsoon.  The  grub  may  be  killed  by 
passing  a  long  piece  of  copper  wire  down  the  tunnel,  and  also  by 
closing  the  opening  with  a  peg  of  soft  wood. 

Zeuzera  Coffeophaga. 

This  is  the  well  known  "  Red  Borer"  of  the  coffee  zone. 

Moth. — (Fig.  4,  PI.  v.) — Has  a  considerable  resemblance  to  the 
wood  Leopard-moth  of  Europe.  It  is  not  often  seen,  although  the 
larva  is  common  enough,  and  this  may  arise  from  its  rather  conspicu- 
ous colours  and  slow  flight,  which  would  enable  its  enemies  to  discover 
and  destroy  it  readily.  It  measures  about  one  and  three-quarters  of 
an  inch  across  the  wings,  which  are  pure  white,  spotted  with  small  dots 
of  a  blue-black.  The  thorax  is  marked  with  a  large  dark  spot,  and  the 
abdomen  with  rings  of  the  same  colour,  and  altogether  the  moth 
is  one  of  the  prettiest  in  India.  The  antennae  of  the  male  are 
bipectinated  to  about  their  middle  (see  Fig.  4,  PI.  v),  and  are 
beautiful  objects  under  a  low  power  of  the  microscope. 

Larva. — (Fig.  1,  PI.  v.) — The  larva  is  from  one  and  a  half  to  two 
inches  long,  and  as  thick  as  a  quill.     It  is  clothed  with  a  very  few 


<  J 


scattered  hairs,  and  is  called  the  Red  Borer,  from  the  red  colour  of  its 
back.  The  head  is  yellow,  and  the  thoracie  and  anal  plates  black.  Its 
presence  in  a  stem  is  indicated  by  little  pellets  of  wood-dust  at  the 
foot  of  the  coffee  tree,  and  on  looking  up  the  stem,  the  hole  will  be 
found  from  eight  to  eighteen  inches  from  the  ground.  It  attacks 
trees  both  young  and  old,  but  seems  to  be  most  fond  of  the  former 
It  usually  scoops  its  tunnel  right  in  the  centre  of  the  stem,  with 
here  and  there  some  lateral  offsets,  as  will  be  seen  in  Fig.  3  a,  a 
PI.  v.  Sometimes  it  sweeps  round  in  cork-screw  fashion  near  the 
entrance  to  the  tunnel,  and  if  the  stem  is  not  of  considerable  dia- 
meter, this  freak  renders  it  so  weak,  that  the  slightest  force  is  suffi- 
cient to  snap  it  across.  The  tunnel  has  usually  an  upward  direction, 
but  not  unfrequently  there  is  also  a  descending  branch.  When 
about  to  enter  into  the  chrysalis  state,  it  retreats  to  a  safe  part  of  the 
tunnel,  and  having  prepared  a  delicate  silken  cocoon,  assumes  the 
appearance  shewn  in  Fig.  2,  PL  v.  While  in  this  state,  it  is  quite 
capable  of  making  certain  movements,  but  remains  quiescent,  unless 
disturbed,  for  from  two  and  a  half  to  three  months.  The  larva  ap- 
pears to  work  chiefly  during  the  night,  and  is  probably  hatched  in 
the  ground  at  the  foot  of  the  tree.  When  the  stem  is  much  damag- 
ed) the  foliage  gets  sickly  and  drooping,  and  sometimes  the  tree 
dies.  If  not  much  injured,  the  external  opening  should  be  closed 
with  a  wooden  peg,  which  causes  the  death  of  the  borer,  and  the  tree 
will  then  in  all  probability  recover.  If  the  damage  is  considerable, 
the  bored  portion  should  be  removed  with  a  saw,  and  the  young 
shoots  treated  as  recommended,  when  speaking  of  trees  injured  by 
the  white  borer. 

Agrotts  Segetcjm. 

For  some  years  past  a  dark-coloured  grub  has  been  known  in 
Coorg  as  the  "Singer,"  a  name  very  applicable,  as  it  destroys  the 
young  coffee  tree  by  gnawing  off  a  circle  of  the  bark  just  above 
ground.  It  does  not  appear  annually,  but  in  certain  seasons  comes 
forth  in  vast  numbers,  clearing  away  every  plant  over  an  area  of 
fifty  or  sixty  acres.  I  have  never  succeeded  in  getting  the  larva  to 
pass  through  the  chrysalis  stage,  but  from  the  appearance  and  habits 
of  the  grub,  have  not  the  slightest  doubt  that  it  is  the  larva  of  the 
Agrotis  Segetum.  In  Europe  the  insect  is  well  known,  and  is  a 
great  enemy  to  cultivated  plants,  in  some  seasons  doing  immense 
damage  to  grain,  turnips,  beet-root,  &c. 


76 

Moth. — (See  Fig.  6,  PI.  v.,  from  Normandy's  Agricultural 
Chemst.)  The  moth  is  somewhat  variable  as  to  size  and  colour,  but 
generally  measures  about  one  and  three-quarters  of  an  inch  across 
the  wings,  which  are  of  a  clouded  brown  colour.  The  lower  wings 
are  of  a  greyish  or  bluish  white  colour.     It  is  very  rarely  seen. 

Larva* — The  grub  is  usually  quite  an  inch  long,  and  about 
the  thickness  of  a  quill.  It  is  of  a  dingy  brown  colour,  with  black 
head  and  lateral  dots.  It  is  most  common  in  the  dry  months,  im- 
mediately after  the  monsoon.  It  only  attacks  young  trees,  and  is, 
therefore}  very  destructive  to  plants  in  the  nursery  and  when  first 
put  out.  The  ring  of  bark,  gnawed  off  by  its  formidable  mandibles, 
is  near  the  surface  of  the  ground,  and  hence,  as  the  insect  is  not 
visible  during  the  day,  planters  at  first  thought  their  trees  were  wind- 
rung,  that  is,  deprived  of  their  bark  by  the  rubbing  of  the  stem 
against  the  ground  when  swayed  by  the  wind.  The  grub  buries 
itself  in  the  earth  at  the  foot  of  the  tree  during  the  day,  and  comes 
forth  at  night  to  feed  ;  and,  considering  its  size,  the  damage  it  does 
is  truly  wonderful,  as  a  stem,  from  which  a  complete  ring  of  bark  has 
been  removed,  is  sure  to  die.  Fortunately,  its  ravages  seem  to  be 
confined  chiefly  to  the  dry  eastern  portions  of  the  coffee  zone.  It 
sometimes  invades  gardens,  and  attacks  most  of  the  European  vege- 
tables cultivated  there.  When  its  presence  is  discovered  on  an  estate, 
the  coolies  should  be  taught  to  collect  the  grubs,  and,  to  ensure 
diligence,  each  one  should  be  made  to  display  what  he  may  have 
gathered  during  the  day  in  the  evening.  Quick-lime  applied  to  the 
ground  kills  them,  and  at  the  same  time  benefits  the  soil. 

Homoptera. 

This  order  contains  some  useful  insects,  and  a  number  which 
are  most  destructive  to  cultivated  plants.  One  of  the  best  known 
is  the  large  Cicada,  or  Knife-grinder,  which  makes  the  woods  resound 
with  its  harsh  noise.  Of  those  that  are  especially  useful,  I  may  men- 
tion the  Coccus  Polonicus,  or  Scarlet  Grain  of  Poland  used  as  a  dye  ; 
the  famous  Coccus  Cacti?  the  cochineal  insect ;  the  Coccus  lacca  of  this 
country  that  produces  lac  ;  and  the  Coccus  Ceriferus,  or  wax  insect 
of  the  East  Indies,  which  is  emplo}Ted  in  the  production  of  white- 
wax.  Of  the  noxious  species,  there  is  an  immense  number,  a  great 
many  garden  and  forest  trees  being  liable  to  their  attacks,  and  their 
small  size  and  powers  of  propagation  render  their  extermination  im- 

•  See  Fig.  5,  PI.  v.  from  a  specimen  in  spirit. 


possible.  One  much  dreaded  in  England  is  the  Hop-Fly,  which  in 
some  seasons  does  such  injury  to  the  hop  crops,  as  to  occasion  a 
decrease  of  £200,000  in  the  usual  annual  amount  of  duty  paid  to 
Government.  The  vine,  pine-apple,  and  orange  are  also  subject  to 
the  invasions  of  minute  homopterous  insects,  called  Scale,  that  do  the 
plants  a  great  deal  of  injury;  and  in  the  West  Indies,  a  tiny  creature, 
Delphax  Saccharivora,  ravages  sugar  plantations,  often  killing  the 
canes.  None,  perhaps,  have  occasioned  more  loss  than  the  Coffee 
Bug.  Prior  to  the  appearance  of  the  borer,  it  was  reckoned  by  the 
coffee  planter  his  greatest  enemy;  but  true  it  is  that  great  evils  make 
us  forget  smaller,  and  so  the  bug  has  come  to  be  regarded  as  a  minor 
foe,  seeing  that  it  only  does  temporary  damage,  while  the  dreaded 
borer  kills  the  tree  ! 

Lecanium  Caffe.e,  Wlkr. 
The  Bug— (See  PI.  vii.) 

This  is  the  brown  or  scaly  bug  so  well  known,  and  so  destructive 
both  here  and  in  Ceylon.  Two  other  insects,  called  buy,  viz.,  the  White 
Bag  and  Black  Bug  also  attack  coffee,  but  they  do  so  little  harm  in 
our  coffee  zone,  that  they  do  not  demand  any  special  notice.  The 
bug  is,  no  doubt,  indigenous  both  here  and  in  Ceylon,  as  it  is  said  to 
appear  on  the  orange,  guava,  beet,  &c.  in  the  latter,  and  it  is  often 
seen  on  the  guava  in  this  country.  It  seems  first  to  have  appeared 
in  considerable  numbers  in  Ceylon,  in  1845,  and  spread  with  such 
rapidity,  that  in  1847  it  was  an  object  of  general  alarm.  About  this 
time,  the  late  Dr.  Gardner  investigated  the  subject,  and  thereafter 
presented  a  very  complete  memoir  regarding  it  to  the  Ceylon  Gov- 
ernment. As  the  male  and  female,  when  mature,  are  very  different 
in  appearance,  they  will  require  to  be  described  separately. 

Male. — Head  sub-globular  ;  eyes  black  ;  antennae  eleven-jointed 
and  with  tufts  of  hair  at  the  tips  ;  thorax  somewhat  heart-shaped  ; 
wings  two,  horizontal,  delicate  membranous,  and  two-nerved  ;  ab- 
domen with  two  lateral  and  one  long  central  appendage.  Of  pinkish 
brown  colour,  but  not  often  seen  on  the  bushes. 

Female. — Apterous  ;  capable  of  walking  about  until  nearly  full 
grown,  when  being  impregnated,  she  becomes  fixed  to  a  young  shoot, 
or  the  margin  of  the  under  surface  of  a  leaf.  She  is  then  a  conical- 
like  scale  of  a  brown  colour,  which  to  the  naked  eye  looks  smooth, 
but  under  the  microscope,  has  a  strong  resemblance  to  the  back  of 
a  tortoise.     This   scale   contains   several  hundred   eggs,    which  are 


78 

smooth,  oblong,  and  of  a  pale  flesh  colour,  and  are  hatched  within 
it.  When  the  young  ones  come  out,  there  is  but  little  difference 
in  appearance  between  the  sexes ;  but  in  a  little  the  males  betake 
themselves  to  the  underside  of  the  leaves,  and  the  females  to  the 
young  shoots. 

The  male  does  not  derive  any  nourishment  from  the  tree,  but 
the  female  has  a  proboscis  with  which  she  incises  the  bark  and 
drinks  the  sap  of  the  tree.  The  eggs  being  very  minute,  are  easily 
transported  from  one  place  to  another,  by  adhering  to  clothing, 
birds  or  animals,  and  this  niay  account  for  the  apparently  mysterious 
way  in  which  the  pest  often  makes  its  appearance  on  an  estate. 
During  the  first  year  of  invasion  it  does  not  do  much  harm,  but  in 
the  second  37ear,  owing  to  the  increase  in  the  number  of  scales,  a 
o-ood  deal  of  the  foliage  is  destroyed,  and  a  portion  of  the  crop 
turns  black  and  falls  off.  About  this  time,  too,  a  saccharine 
substance,  called  the  Honey-dew,  is  secreted,  apparently  by  the  bugs, 
and  shortly  the  plant  acquires  a  dark  warty  and  sordid  ap- 
pearance. A  careful  examination  will  now  discover  the  pre- 
sence of  a  fungus,  which  gradually  covers  the  branches  and  leaves. 
In  the  third  year  the  plaut  will  probably  be  completely  devoid  of 
leaves,  and,  of  course,  bear  no  crop.  The  fungus  which  spreads  over 
the  plant  in  a  dense  black  felt-like  covering,  was  termed  the  Tripos- 
porium  Gardneii  by  Berkeley,  and  Syncladium  Nietneri  by  Raben- 
horst.  The  bug  seems  to  appear  first  in  sheltered  damp  hollows  and 
ravines,  but  when  once  fairly  established,  spreads  over  every  part  of 
an  estate.  It  generally  disappears  in  a  few  seasons,  but  leaves  the 
trees  in  a  weak  and  exhausted  state,  and  is  very  apt  to  return.  It 
seems  to  be  most  prevalent  in  wet  seasons.  No  effectual  remedy 
has  been  discovered  for  it,  and  Dr.  Gardner  thought  that  the  ra- 
vages of  the  insect  were  entirely  beyond  human  control.  Mr.  Neit- 
ner  says,  hand-rubbing  will  destroy  an  immense  quantity  of  the  bug, 
but  is  afraid  the  permanent  good  effect  is  but  trifling.  High  cul- 
ture, he  also  remarks,  has  the  effect  of  throwing  off  the  pest ;  and  tar 
applied  to  the  roots  of  the  tree  seems  to  be  a  valuable  remedy.  The 
bug  has  at  times  been  very  prevalent  in  Coorg  and  Wynaad,  but  is 
not  so  well  known  in  Mysore,  and  does  not  appear  to  be  common  or 
destructive  on  shaded  estates. 


79 

IX.-DISEASES  TO  WHICH  THE  COFFEE  PLANT  IS  LIABLE. 

All  plants  under  the  care  of  man  are  liable  to  disease,  but 
fortunately  the  distempers  that  attack  the  coffee  are  not  very 
numerous  or  serious.  Disease  in  plants  may  arise  from  any  of  the 
following  causes  ; — 

I.     Exhaustion  of,  or  noxious  elements  in,  the  soil. 

II.  Excess  or  deficiency  of  light,  air,  heat  or  moisture,  or 
noxious  substances  in  the  air. 

III.  Improper  culture. 

IV.  Mechanical  injuries  from  winds,  attacks  of  animals,  &c. 
Everything,  too,  that  weakens  a  plant,  such  as  exhaustion  from 

overbearing,  or  unfavourable  seasons  will,  of  course,  predispose  it  to 
disease.  One  of  the  most  common  diseases  of  the  coffee  is  what 
may  be  called, 

Stump  Rot. 

It  is  a  well  known  fact  that  few  plants  will  grow  in  the  shade 
of  certain  trees, — the  Tamarind,  for  instance.  This  upas-like  effect 
seems  in  some  cases  to  be  produced  by  deleterious  gases  given  off 
by  the  leaves  of  the  tree,  and  in  others  to  arise  simply  from  the 
ground  having  been  deprived  of  those  elements  requisite  for  the 
nourishment  of  the  smaller  plant.  In  Stum.'p  Rot,  the  coffee  dies 
off  persistently  around  a  stump  left  in  clearing.  Year  after  year 
the  plants  are  renewed  only  to  perish,  and  leave  an  unsightly  gap. 
It  is  difficult  when  a  stump  has  been  charred  and  is  partly  decayed, 
to  discover  to  what  tree  it  belonged,  but  I  am  inclined  to  think 
that  the  trees  which  produce  Stump  Rot  are  chiefly  species  of 
Ficus,  the  Cinnamon,  and  some  of  the  Meliaceae  and  Bignoniacese- 
Plants  affected  with  this  disease  gradually  wither  and  die,  as  soon 
as  their  roots  begin  to  descend  and  take  hold  of  the  ground.  On 
examining  the  roots,  they  will  either  be  found  simply  rotten,  or 
decayed  and  occupied  by  a  small  fungus.  In  the  former  case,  the 
immediate  cause  of  death  is  some  noxious  gas,  generated  during 
the  process  of  deca}r  in  the  roots  of  the  forest  tree.  In  the  latter, 
the  coffee  plant  is  first  sickened  by  the  presence  of  some  hurtful 
substance  in  the  soil,  on  which  the  spores  of  a  fungus,  growing  on 
the  decayed  roots  of  the  forest  tree,  fasten  on  those  of  the  coffee, 
and  shortly  complete  the  work  of  destruction.  The  only  remedy 
appears  to  be  to  dig  up  the  roots  of  the  stump. 


80 

Rot. 

This  disease  is  most  common  daring  the  rains.  It  attacks  the 
leaves  which  rapidl}'  turn  black  and  fall  off,  on  which  many  of  the 
berries  fall  down,  and  those  that  remain  are  imperfectly  ripened. 
Rot  is  caused  partly  by  bad  drainage,  which  allows  the  water  to 
lodge  about  the  roots,  and  partly  by  the  overcrowding  of  the 
branches  which  prevents  due  exposure  of  the  leaves.  The  results 
are,  that  the  plant  is  constantly  gorged  with  moisture,  and  circula- 
tion, perspiration  and  assimilation  being  nearly  arrested,  the  foliage 
decays  in  the  manner  described.  The  remedies  for  this  disease  will 
be  thorough  drainage  and  free  pruning. 

In  some  cases  the  entire  plant  dies,  the  leaves  turning  a  sickly 
yellow,  and  the  rot  attacking  the  roots.  This,  too,  arises  from 
defective  drainage. 

Lethargy. 

This  disease  attacks  plants  which  have  been  improperly 
planted,  or  put  out  so  late  in  the  monsoon,  that  they  have  not 
had  time  to  grow  a  sufficiency  of  fresh  roots  before  the  dry  season. 
In  consequence  of  this,  they  never  make  a  proper  start,  and  linger 
on,  just  shewing  by  a  few  yellow  leaves  that  they  are  alive,  and  no 
more.  In  such  plantings  there  are  always  a  great  many  deaths,  and 
even  when  the  trees  live,  they  never  acquire  the  strength  and 
vigour  of  healthy  well  reared  ones,  and  are  apt  to  be  attacked  by 
borer  and  infested  with  lichens.  The  best  remedies  for  this 
condition  are  irrigation,  if  practicable,  or  mulching,  which  consists  in 
littering  the  ground  about  the  roots  with  grass,  so  as  to  retain  the 
natural  humidity  of  the  soil.  Where  grass  cannot  be  got,  stones  may 
be  advantageously  employed. 

Langour. 

This  disease  is  most  commonly  seen  in  the  "bamboo  districts, 
where  the  plants  gradually  become  decrepid  and  die  prematurely, 
partly  from  exhaustion  by  excessive  bearing,  and  partly  from  the 
soil  becoming  deprived  of  those  elements  which  the  coffee  requires 
for  its  nutrition.  In  general  terms,  the  cause  of  langour  may  be 
stated  to  be  drought,  and  barrenness  of  soil.  In  several  instances 
I  have  known  it  to  arise  after  the  plants  were  five  or  six  years  old, 
from  their  roots  having  encountered  a  bad  subsoil.  The  decay  of 
langour  is  quite  distinct  from  that  of  age,  being  premature,  and 
characterised  by  the  decay  of  the  tender  branches,  yellow  colour  of 
the  leaves,  and  failure  of  crop.     If  not  arrested,  the  plants  die  off  in 


81 

a  few  years.  When  the  subsoil  is  at  fault,  no  remedy  will  be  of  any 
avail,  but  in  other  cases  much  may  be  done  by  the  free  application 
of  manure,  and  shade  to  protect  from  the  sun. 

Lichens  and  Mosses. 
As  a  rule,  trees  covered  with  those  parasites  are  far  from  healthy, 
and  it  is  a  question,  on  which  some  difference  of  opinion  prevails, 
whether  the  debility  is  the  cause  or  the  result  of  their  presence. 
So  far  as  my  own  observations  go,  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  they 
induce  disease  in  cultivated  plants.  That  they  prey  on  the  secretions 
of  the  tree  to  which  they  are  attached,  and  do  not  draw  their  entire 
sustenance  from  the  atmosphere,  is   manifest   from    the  fact  that 
lichens  contain  substances  that  could  never,  by  any  possibility,  have 
been  derived  from  air  or  rain.     What  is  more  strange,  we  often  find 
in  a  lichen  something  that  does   not  exist  in  the  tree   on  which  it 
grew,  so  that  it  would  appear  that  these  curious  organisms  cause,  in 
some  way,  the  fostering  tree  to  draw  from  the  soil  and  yield  up  to  them 
materials   not  used  in   its  own   economy.     As  a  rule,  lichens  and 
mosses  indicate  bad  drainage,   and   improvement  in  this  particular, 
and  the  application  of  lime    to  the  soil,   will  generally  keep  them  in 
check.     When  the  stem  is  much  choked  with  them,  they  should  be 
removed  with  a  curved  iron  scraper,  and  the  scraped  surface  painted 
with  a  mixture  of  cow-dung  and  quick-lime  in  water.    The  addition 
of  a  small  quantity  of  sulphur  to  this  recipe  seems  to  increase  its 
efficac3T. 


X— OTHER  PLANTS  WHICH  MIGHT  BE  CULTIVATED  BY  EUROPEAN 
SETTLERS  IN  THE  COFFEE  DISTRICTS. 

Since  the  devastation  caused  by  the  borer  became  so  great  and 
general,  many  coffee  planters  have  been  anxiously  seeking  for  some 
plant  which  they  might  profitably  cultivate  in  fresh  soil,  or  in  lands 
in  which  the  coffee  has  died  out.  In  short,  impresse  1  with  the  pre- 
cariousness  of  coffee  crops,  they  have  been  looking  for  a  second  string 
to  their  bow,  another  staff  on  which  to  lean.  The  number  of  plants 
yielding  valuable  commercial  products,  for  which  the  climate  of  the 
coffee  zone  is  suitable,  is  by  no  means  great,  and  I  shall  only  notice 
such  as  might  be  thought  worthy  the  attention  of  the  Europj;in 
who  will  not  be  pleased  with  the  small  profits  that  satisfy  and 
maintain  the  natives  of  the  country. 


82 

BCEHMERIA   NlVEA. 

Eheea  or  Chinese  Grass  Cloth. 

This  plant,  -which  produces  the  fibre  from  which  the  beauti- 
ful Chinese  grass  cloth  is  made,  has  now  been  cultivated  in 
India  for  some  years.  Attention  was  recently  drawn  to  it  by 
a  despatch  from  the  Secretary  of  State  for  India,  intimating 
that  it  was  worth  in  the  English  market  from  60  to  80 £ 
per  ton,  owing  to  the  discovery  of  some  process  which  faci- 
litated the  extraction  of  the  fibre,  and  produced  some  change  in 
it,  that  rendered  it  an  excellent  substitute  for  worsted  in  the  manu- 
facture of  goods,  in  which  that  substance  is  mixed  with  cotton.  The 
Bcehmeria  is  a  native  of  China  and  Assam,  and  is  cultivated  with 
very  great  care  in  the  former.  It  is  raised  there  from  seed,  and  is 
carefully  manured.  Throughout  Lower  India  generally  it  does  not 
seed,  but  is  easily  propagated  by  division  of  the  roots,  layers,  and 
even  cuttings,  if  the  weather  is  damp.  Dr.  Macgowan  gives  the 
following  information,  as  to  the  mode  of  culture  in  China  (Yol.  YI, 
Journ.  of  Agri-Horti.  Society  of  India).  "  The  roots  are  to  be  cut  in 
pieces  of  three  or  four  fingers'  length,  and  ore  to  be  planted  in  May, 
half  a  yard  apart,  and  watered  every  three  or  four  days.  On  the 
appearance  of  the  blades,  use  the  hoe  and  water  them ;  they  will  be 
mature  for  cutting  in  the  second  year.  In  the  course  of  3  years 
the  roots  become  unfruitful."  "It  yields  three  crops  every  year. 
The  first  cutting  takes  place  in  June.  Care  is  to  be  taken  not  to  cub 
the  young  shoots,  keep  therefore  an  inch  from  the  ground/'  After 
each  cutting,  the  plant  is  to  be  covered  with  manure  and  watered, 
but  not  by  day,  unless  it  be  clomly. 

Manipulation. — "  On  being  cut,  the  leaves  are  carefully  taken 
off  with  a  bamboo  knife  by  women  and  children,  generally  on  the 
spot.  It  is  then  taken  to  the  house  and  soaked  in  water  for  an  hour, 
unless  it  is  already  wet  by  recent  showers  ;  in  cold  weather,  the  water 
should  be  tepid.  After  this  the  plant  is  broken  in  the  middle,  by 
which  the  fibrous  portion  is  loosened,  and  raised  from  the  stalk  ;  into 
the  interstice  thus  made  the  operator,  generally  a  woman  or  child, 
thrusts  the  finger  nails,  and  separates  the  fibre  from  the  centre  to 
one  extremity,  and  then  to  the  other,  Steeping  process  is  very  easy." 
"  The  next  process  is  scraping  the  hemp,  to  facilitate  which  the  fibre 
is  first  soaked  in  water.  The  knife  or  scraper  is  about  two  inches 
long,  and  its  back  is  inserted  in  a  handle  of  twice  its  length.  This 
rude  implement  is  held  in  the  left  hand  ;    its  edge,  which  is   dull,  is 


83 

raised  a  line  above  the  index  finger.  Strips  of  hemp  are  then  drawn 
over  the  blade  from  within  outwards,  and  being  pressed  upon  by  the 
thumb,  the  pilous  surface  of  one  surface  and  the  mucilaginous  part  of 
the  other  are  thus  taken  off.  The  hemp  then  rolls  up  like  boiled 
tendon.  After  being  wiped  dry,  it  is  exposed  to  the  sun  for  a  day, 
and  then  assorted,  the  whitest  being  selected  for  fine  cloth."  There- 
after it  is  partially  bleached  by  boiling,  and  then  the  fibres  are 
separated  by  the  finger  nails  of  women  and  children.  These  latter 
processes  would  not  seem  to  be  necessary  to  fit  the  fibre  for  the 
English  market,  and  indeed  the  maceration  in  water  to  aid  in  clean- 
ing the  fibre  must  be  performed  with  the  utmost  caution,  otherwise 
it  may  be  damaged  both  in  colour  and  in  strength.  The  Rheea,  of 
which  plants  were  got  by  me  for  the  Agri-Horticultural  Society,  about 
two  years  ago  from  Calcutta,  has,  with  an  occasional  watering,  grown 
tolerably  well  in  the  gardens  at  Madras,  and  thrives  admirably  at  Ban- 
galore and  Mercara.  It  seems  to  like  moist  sheltered  hollows,  and  if 
carefully  cultivated,  will  doubtless  prove  fully  as  profitable  as  coffee 
under  the  most  favourable  circumstances  ;  and  it  is  not  a  crop  likelv 
to  suffer  from  bad  seasons.  The  demand  for  the  fibre  is  said  to  be 
steadily  on  the  increase,  and  were  some  cheap  machine  for  cleaning 
the  fibre  brought  out,  which  it  is  sure  to  be  ere  long,  the  cost  of 
manipulation  would  be  so  much  reduced  as  greatly  to  increase  the 
profits. 

Phormium  Tenax. 
New  Zealand  Flax. 
This  plant  is  a  native  of  New  Zealand,  and  its  fibre  has  for 
a  considerable  time  been  an  article  of  export  from  that  island.  It 
has  lately  been  introduced  into  the  Government  Gardens  at  Gota- 
caraund,  and  thrives  so  well,  that  I  entertain  confident  hopes  of  its 
proving  a  most  valuable  addition  to  the  cultivated  plants  of  our  vari- 
ous hill  ranges.  It  is  a  flag-like  plant,  of  large  size,  with  sword-shaped 
leaves,  and  bears  its  flowers  on  a  stalk  like  the  American  Aloe.  The 
Phormium  covers  millions  of  acres  in  New  Zealand,  growing  sponta- 
neously on  any  kind  of  soil,  moist  or  diy,  and  in  any  locality,  high 
or  low.  It,  however,  attains  its  greatest  luxuriance  in  moist  alluvial 
soil,  and  I  believe  it  will  be  found  to  do  well,  with  very  little  care, 
in  most  parts,  but  especially  towards  the  western  side  of  our  cof- 
fee zone.  The  fibre  is  extracted  from  the  fleshy  leaves,  which  the  Mao- 
ries  also  cut  into  strips  and  use  instead  of  cords,  strings,  ropes,  straps 


84 

&c.  They  extract  the  fibre  by  scraping  off  the  parenchyma  with  a 
shell.  In  1S60,  the  Rev.  Mr.  Purchas,  of  New  Zealand,  invented  a 
machine  for  cleaning  it,  which  is  said  to  do  its  work  well,  and  to 
be  equally  suited  for  the  American  Aloe,  Manilla  Hemp,  and  Pine- 
apple. As  all  these  grow  so  readily  in  this  country,  the  introduction 
of  such  an  implement  would  give  an  immense  impulse  to  the  pro- 
duction of  fibres,  and  I  would  take  the  liberty  of  recommending, 
that  Government  procure  one  of  Mr.  Purchas'  machines  for  trial  in 
Madras.  Although  no  country  in  the  world  is  so  rich  in  fibrous 
plants  as  India,  the  known  methods  of  manipulation  are  so  expensive 
and  defective,  that  we  have  been  able  to  do  little  or  nothing  with 
them,  and  they  therefore  remain  as  dead  wealth. 

Musa  Textilts. 
Manilla  Plantain,  or  Manilla  Hemi\ 
The  cultivation  of  this  plant  on  a  pretty  large  scale,  is  being 
tried  on  some  estates  in  "Wynaad,  and  is  not  attended  with  the 
slightest  difficulty  ;  but  the  want  of  some  machine  to  clean  the  fibre 
is  likely  to  stop  the  experiment  when  it  is  just  at  the  verge  of  suc- 
cess. 

Eicinus  Communis. 

Castor  Oil. 

This  plant,  yielding  the  well  known  Castor  oil,  thrives  admirably 
on  the  driest  and  most  barren  soil  in  the  coffee  districts,  and  might 
be  advantageously  cultivated  on  tracts  of  ground  on  which  the 
coffee  has  not  been  found  to  thrive.  From  forty  to  fifty  per  cent, 
of  oil  will  be  got  from  cleaned  seed  of  good  qualit}',  and  the  oil  is  by 
no  means  difficult  to  prepare  by  the  process  which  produces  the 
cold  drawn  oil.  There  are  two  varieties  of  the  plant,  one  yielding  a 
small  and  the  other  a  large  seed,  and  it  is  generally  stated  that  the 
the  oil  extracted  from  the  latter  has  a  disagreable  appearance  and 
smell,  and  is  unsuited  for  medicinal  purposes.  From  a  series  of 
experiments  instituted  by  me,  some  years  ago,  I  am  able  to  state, 
that  there  is  no  foundation  whatever  for  this  opinion.  The  method 
of  preparing  the  oil  is  as  follows  : — Free  the  seeds  of  stones  and  dirt 
by  the  native  sifter.  Then  place  them  in  a  large  mortar,  cut  out  of 
wood  or  stone,  like  that  used  in  the  native  oil  mill,  and  beat  them 
with  a  rice  pounder  slightly  so  as  to  crack  the  husks,  but  not  to  cake 
tbe  seeds.  The  husks  must  now  be  removed  by  hand,  an  operation 
which  can  be  performed  by  women  and   children.     The  seeds  should 


then  be  pounded  in  the  mortar,  and  if  the  temperature  of  the  air  is 
low,  should  be  warmed  by  steam  heat,  after  which  they  are  put  in 
small  bags  of  woollen  cloth,  made  in  England  for  the  purpose,  and 
called  sacking,  or  strong  gunny,  and  the  bags  arranged  alternately 
with  plates  of  iron  previously  warmed,  in  a  hydraulic  or  powerful 
screw  press.  As  the  oil  is  squeezed  out,  it  should  be  received  in 
clean  tin  pans,  and  when  the  flow  has  ceased,  the  bags  should  be  taken 
out  and  their  contents  again  pounded  and  squeezed  as  before.  Gene- 
rally speaking,  this  part  of  the  process  requires  to  be  repeated  three 
times,  so  as  to  get  the  whole  of  the  oil,  which  will  then  be  found  to 
be  somewhat  muddy,  from  the  presence  of  albumen  and  other  im- 
purities. To  get  rid  of  these,  add  one  part  of  filtered  water  to  eight 
parts  of  oil,  and  boil  these  over  a  brisk  smokeless  fire,  until  the  whole 
of  the  water  has  been  evaporated,  which  will  be  known  by  bubbles 
ceasing  to  rise.  Then  remove  at  once,  and  allow  to  cool,  when  the 
dirt  will  all  be  found  adhering  to  the  bottom  of  the  boiler.  This 
is  the  nicest  part  of  the  whole  operation,  as  if  the  oil  is  kept  on  the 
fire  one  minute  after  the  water  has  been  driven  off,  it  will  acquire  a 
burnt  or  empyreumatic  flavour  ;  which  greatly  reduces  its  commer- 
cial value.  Oil  prepared  carefully  in  this  way  is  as  clear  as  water, 
and  has  scarcely  any  taste  or  smell.  It  may  me  sent  to  England  in 
tins,  packed  in  wooden  cases.  The  most  expensive  part  of  the  process 
is  the  removal  of  the  husks,  and  if  some  machine,  say  a  modification 
of  the  disk  coffee  pulper,  could  be  invented  for  performing  the 
operation,  the  profits  would  be  very  large. 

Cotton. 

The  varieties  of  this  plant,  known  as  Bourhon,  New  Orleans, 
Brazilian,  and  Sea  Island,  will  all  thrive  in  the  coffee  districts, 
and  might  be  cultivated  with  advantage  on  portions  of  estates  that 
have  become  unfit  for  coffee.  The  amount  of  labour  necessaiy,  and 
the  high  rate  of  wages  are  no  doubt  serious  obstacles,  but  at  the 
same  time  if  the  culture  is  conducted  with  care  and  on  a  moderately 
large  scale,  it  cannot  fail  to  yield  a  fair  profit.  To  render  the 
ground  fit  for  the  seed,  it  must  be  well  ploughed  and  cleared  of 
weeds,  and  cast  into  small  ridges,  from  three  to  five  feet  apart.  <  )n  the 
top  of  the  ridge,  a  little  furrow,  about  two  inches  deep,  must  then  be 
made,  and  the  seed  scattered  in  this  pretty  freely,  and  covered  in 
by  trailing  over  it  a  piece  of  wood  of  sufficient  weight.  The  period 
of  sowing  is  a  point  of  vast  importance,  and  Dr.  Wight  recommends 


86 

that  in  places  under  the  south-west  monsoon,  it  should  be  done  in 
the  month  of  May,  so  as  to  have  the  plants  well  up  before  the  heavy 
rains.  If  sown  during  the  rains,  the  seeds  rot.  Sowing  in  May,  the 
cotton  will  be  ripe  about  the  end  of  September  or  beginning  of  Oc- 
tober, when  fair  weather,  which  is  absolutely  essential  during  the 
picking  season,  may  be  expected.  Weeds  may  be  kept  down  by 
the  A-shaped  horse  hoe,  and  when  the  plants  are  five  or  six  inches 
high,  the  earth  should  be  banked  up  on  the  roots.  Manuring  will 
sometimes  be  necessary  in  poor  soil,  but  generally  there  will  be  no 
necessity  for  it  if  the  earth  is  ploughed  deeply  with  a  light  plough 
of  the  Scotch  model,  so  as  to  bring  up  a  fresh  layer  to  the  surface. 
The  cotton,  it  is  said,  requires  to  be  treated  as  an  annual,  as  gene- 
rally speaking,  the  crop  from  two-year  old  plants  is  rather  poor,  and 
of  inferior  quality.  However,  further  experience  is  required  on 
this  point,  as  I  have  found  Sea-Island  yield  splendid  crops  for  two 
years  in  succession,  Avhen  the  plants  were  heavily  pruned  and  the 
soil  well  dug  up  about  the  roots. 

Tea. 
The    question  as  to   whether  the  tea  plant  can  be  cultivated 
within  the  coffee  zone,  is  at  present   being  subjected   to  the  test  of 
experiment,  and  until  the  result  is  seen,  it  would  scarcely  be  safe  to 
plant  extensively,  as  even  on  the  upper  heights  of  the  Neilgherries, 
which  were  thought  peculiarly  suited  for   the  tea,  the  trials  have 
not  by  any  meaus  proved   so  successful   as    was  anticipated.     That 
the  plant  will  grow  in  the  coffee  districts,  there  cannot    be  a  doubt, 
but  whether  it  will  produce  leaf  of  such  quality,  and  in  such 'quan- 
tity as  will  render  its  culture  profitable,  is  somewhat  doubtful.     All 
the  plants  that  I  have  seen  in  "Wynaad,  Coorg,  and  Mysore,  had  a 
constant  tendency  to  run  to  seed,  which  would  of  course  prevent 
their  producing  the   necessary  Hushes  of  leaves.      Probably   some 
change  in  culture  may  obviate  this,  and  with  a  view  to  prevent  it, 
irrigation  during   the  hotter  months  is  deserving  of   a  trial.     The 
degree  of  elevation  requisite  for  tea  culture  depends  a  good  deal  on 
the  rainfall,  &c,  but  I  hardly  think  the  necessary  climatic  conditions 
will  be  found  at  any  site  under  three  thousand  feet  above  the  sea.  The 
plant  known  as  the  hybrid  seems  the  best  suited  for  Southern  India, 
and  the  stiffish  moist  loamy  clay  of  the  heavy  jungle  tract  the  best 
adapted  for  its  growth.     As  there  are  several  excellent   hand-books 
on  tea  planting,  it  is  unnecessary  for  me  to    enter   into   particulars 
on  the  subject. 


87 

Cinchona, 
The  only  species  likely  to  thrive  in  the  coffee  zone  is  the  Cin- 
chona Succiriibra,  and  its  large  leaves  and  soft  young  wood  suffer  a 
good  deal  from  the  wind  during  the  south-west  monsoon.  As  a  com- 
mercial speculation,  or  means  of  livelihood,  cinchona  culture  is  not 
attractive,  as  the  capital  invested  must  remain,  for  a  very  long  time, 
totally  uuremunerative,  and  we  have  }Tet  to  learn  how  man)'  years 
the  trees  will  live  if  deprived  of  a  great  portion  of  their  bark  and 
some  of  their  branches  annually.  Possibl}7  as  our  experience  en- 
larges, it  may  be  found  that  the  plant  will  not  require  so  much  care 
in  the  way  of  weeding,  &c,  as  has  hitherto  been  bestowed  on  it,  and 
I  think  it  would  be  well,  that  b\^  way  of  experiment,  some  acres 
should  be  left  without  more  attention  than  what  is  devoted  to  plan- 
tations of  forest  trees  in  England.  At  present,  planters  are  not 
likely  to  extend  operations  bej^ond  the  putting  down  a  few  hundred 
trees,  to  }Tield  in  future  years  a  supply  of  bark  for  their  coolies  ;  and 
full  instructions  regarding  Cinchona  culture  will  be  found  in  Mr. 
Mclvor's  admirable  Manual. 

Theobroma  Cacao,  or  Chocolate  Tree. 
The  Chocolate  tree  is  a  native  of  tropical  America,  and  is  now 
cultivated  both  in  the  western  and  eastern  hemispheres.  It  is  raised 
from  seed,  and  the  ground  previous  to  sowing  should  be  well  trench- 
ed and  arranged  in  small  ridges.     The  seeds  are  then  to  be  put — say 
six  or  eight  inches  apart — in  shallow  ruts  on  the  top    of  the    ridges 
and  lightly  covered  with.  soil.     To  protect  them  from  the  sun,  small 
pandah,  like  those  used    in  coffee  nurseries,  must  now  be  put  up, 
and  watering  should  be  carefully  attended  to,  but  not  too  much  ap- 
plied,  as    when   it  lodges,  the  seeds  are   liable  to  rot.     The  plants 
should  remain  in  the  nursery  until  from  fifteen  to  eighteen  inches  high 
when  they  may  be  transplanted  with  balls  of  earth  attached    to  the 
roots.     The  Cacao  requires  rich,  deep,  and  moist  forest  soil,  and   the 
situation  should  be  such  as  will  admit  of  irrigation,  when  necessar}\ 
The  plants  should    be  put  out   in  rows,    so   that  there  will  be  from 
twelve  to  fifteen  feet  between  every  two  plants,  and  the  pits  should 
be  twice  as  deep,  and  somewhat  broader  than  those  recommended  for 
the  coffee.     To  protect  the  young  plants,  which  are  particularly  ten- 
der, from  sun  and  wind,   Plantain,  or  the  Erythrinalndica  must  be 
put  down   between  every  second  row.     The  Spaniards  from  this  use 
of  it,  call  the  Erythrina — Madre  de  cacao*     When  about  two  years 
*  Porter's  "Tropical  Agriculturist." 


88 

old,  the  tree  usually  puts  forth  a  number  of  branches  near  the  top,  but 
all  are  cut  away,  save  five  or  six.     Flowers  appear  in  the  third  year, 
but  these  should  'all  be  removed,  so  as   to   prevent   its  fruiting  until 
five  years  old.  When  growing  the  ground  must  be  regularly  weeded, 
and  suckers  carefully  removed  from  the  trees.     When  full  grown,  a 
Cacao  plantation  is  said  to  be  a  beautiful  sight,  and  there  is  perhaps 
no  crop  "  which  calls  for  fewer  cares  or  less  labour."*     As  the  fruit 
ripens,  it  changes  from  a  green  to  a  purplish   or  yellow  colour,   and 
should  not  be  gathered  until   quite  ripe.     When  collected,  it  is  cut 
open  and  the  seeds  separated  from  the  pulp,  and  put   into  a  heap  of 
sand  until  they  undergo  slight  fermentation,  which  frees   them  from 
adhering  pulp.     To  prevent  the  fermentation  going  too  far,  the  seeds 
must  be  often  stirred  with  a  stick,  and  fresh  sand  added  each  time, 
so  as  to   absorb    the  moisture.     In  three  or  four  dajTs  they  will 
be  quite  or  nearly  dry,  and  then  they  should  be  dried  in  the  sun  on 
a  platform,  like  that  used  for  drying  coffee.     Care  must  be  taken  in 
case  of  rain  to  remove  the  seeds  under  cover,  as  it  would  completely 
destroy  them,  and  they  must  be  exposed  until  perfectly  dry,  which 
will  be  known  by  their  splitting  when  pressed,  and  not    fermenting 
when  heaped  together.     They  are  then  put  in  bags  or  boxes,  and 
ready  for  export. 

Manihot  TJtilissima,  or  Janipha  Manihot. 
Tapioca  Plant. 
The  Tapioca,  or  Bitter  Cassava,  a  native  of  South  America, 
is  now  cultivated  about  Madras  and  Bangalore  pretty  extensively, 
and  will  grow  readily  in  any  part  of  the  coffee  zone.  It  is  propa- 
gated by  cuttings,  which  should  be  planted  in  cleared  ground,  at 
the  distance  of  from  two  and  a  half  to  three  feet  apart.  They 
should  be  put  down  in  the  month  of  June,  and  the  ground  kept  free 
of  weeds  until  they  cover  the  soil  and  subdue  the  weeds.  In  the 
month  of  March  or  April  following,  the  roots  which  contain  the 
tapioca  will  be  fit  for  use.  They  are  of  a  dark  colour,  of  considera- 
ble size,  and  contain  along  with  the  starchy  matter,  a  poisonous  nar- 
cotic substance,  which  is  got  rid  of  in  the  process  of  preparation. 
When  taken  from  the  ground  the}7  are  washed,  peeled,  and  reduced 
to  pulp  bv  a  grater  fixed  on  theeilge  of  a  thick  wooden  wheel.  The 
pulp  is  received  in  a  trough  placed  below  the  wheel,  bruised,  and 
then  washed  in  a  large  tub  filled  with  clean  water.  The  resulting 
turbid  fluid  is  passed  through  a  fine  hair-sieve,    so  as  to  free  it  from 

•  Porter's  Tropical  Agriculturistt 


89 

gross  impurities,  and  allowed  to  rest  for  some  time,  when  the  tapi- 
oca will  settle   at  the  bottom.     When  this  has  taken  place,  the  su- 
pernatant fluid  is  drawn  off,  and  fresh  water  added.     To  render  the 
tapioca  perfectly  wholesome  and  white,  the   washing   process  musfc 
be  repeated  at  least  five  times.     The  pasty   mass   is  then    removed, 
put  into  squares  of  strong  cloth,  and  partially  dried  by  folding  over 
the  sides  and  twisting  the   ends   in  opposite   directions.     This  com- 
pleted, it  is  spread  out  on   hot   iron    plates,   and  agitated  so  as  to 
give  it    the    granular  form    in  which   it  is  sent  to  market,     The 
tapioca  grows   best  in  an    open   rich   soil,   but    being  rather   ex- 
hausting, the  ground  will  require   to  be  manured  after  the  second 
or  third  crop.     Arrow-root    (Maranta  Arundinacea)  will  also  grow 
readily,  and  is  prepared  from  the  roots  by  rasping  and  washing,  as 
in  the  case  of  the  tapioca.     It  does  not,  however,   require  the  aid 
of  artificial  heat,  but  when  clean,  is  simply  dried  in  the  sun. 
Myristica  Officinalis. 
Nutmeg. 
It  seems  highly  probable  that  this  plant   might  be  successfully 
cultivated  in  the  western  parts  of  the  coffee  zone,  as  a  wild    species 
is  very  abundant  throughout    the  heavy  jungle  tract,  and   if  so,  it 
would  prove  a   great  acquisition  to  the  European  planter,  as  the 
profits  are  very  large.     On  the  other  hand,    the   opening  of  a  Nut- 
meg plantation  is  attended  with  greater  expense  than  a  coffee,  and  no 
crop  need  be  expected  until  the  trees  are  six  or  seven  years  old.  The 
land  selected  for  nutmeg  culture  should  be  well  sheltered  and  not 
steep,  and  the  soil  rich  and  open.     In  clearing,  belts  of  trees  should 
be  left  to  protect  the  plantation  from  the  south-west  and  other  winds 
to  which  it  may  be  exposed.     The  first  step  is  to  get  fresh  ripe  nuts 
Avhich  should  be  planted  at  the  distance  of  one  foot  apart  in  a  nui- 
sery,  protected  from  the   sun  as    usual.     The  ground  must  be  kept 
clear  of  weeds,  and  water  applied  in  moderate  quantity   daily.     The 
seeds  germinate  in  from  thirty  to  sixty  days,  and  when  the  seedlings 
are  from  two  to  three  feet  high,  they  are   fit  for  transplanting.     The 
ground  in  which  they  are  to  grow  should  be    well  cleared   of  weeds 
and  roots,  and  large  pits,  in  rows,  opened   for  their  reception  at  in- 
tervals of  two  feet.      At  first  they  will  require  the  protection    of 
plantain  trees  to  screen   them  from  the   sun  and  wind.     Thereafter 
the  ground  between  the  rows  is  to  be  kept  open   and  clear  of  weeds 
by  the  plough,  and  a  basket  or  two   of  cow-dung  must  be   applied 


no 

every  year  to  the  roots  of  each  tree.   When  about  five  years  old,  the 
shade  of  the  plantains  may  be  dispensed  with,  but  the  manuring 
must  be  continued,  the  quantity  of  manure  being  increased    in  pro- 
portion to  the  size  of  the  tree.     The  nutmeg  is  a  dioecious  plant,  that 
is,  having  male  or  barren  flowers  on  one  tree,  and  female  or  fertile 
upon  another.     The  one  sex  cannot  be  distinguished  from  the  other, 
until  the  flowers  appear,  and  thus   considerable  loss   results,   as  the 
greater  number  of  the  male  trees  have  to  be    cut    down.     Probably, 
however,  this  might  be   avoided   by  grafting   branches  of  a  female 
tree  on  the  males.     The  trees  come  into  full  bearing  when  ten  years 
old,  and  eight  pounds  of  nutmeg  and  one  aud  a  quarter  pounds    of 
mace  may  be  expected  from  a  good  tree  annually.    When  the  fruit  is 
ripe,  the  outer  covering  bursts,  which  is  the  signal  for  gathering  it.    It 
is  then  divested  of  the  mace,  which  is  spread  on  mats  in  the  sun  to 
dry.     The  nuts  are  then  taken  to  the  drying  house,  and  subjected 
to   a  temperature  of    140°  Thr.     by    means    of  smouldering   fires. 
"When  thoroughly  dried,  so  that  the  kernels  rattle  when  the  nuts  are 
shaken,  the  shells  are  cracked  with    mallets,  and  the  nutmegs  re- 
moved.    Sometimes  they  are  dipped  in  a  mixture  of  salt  water  and 
lime  before  packing,  to  prevent  the  attacks  of  insects,  but  the  rolling 
of  them  in  sifted   quick   lime  seerns  to  answer  the  purpose  as  well* 
and  to  be  less  likely  to  injure  the  spice. 


XT.— FUTURE  PROSPECTS  OF  COFFEE  CULTURE  IN  SOUTHERN  INDIA. 
In  previous  chapters  such  casual  remarks  have  been  made  on 
this  subject,  as  will  lender  it  unnecessary  to  do  more  here  than  give 
a  brief  summary  of  my  conclusions.  The  experiments  that 
have  been  going  on  for  years  have  proved  that  the  climate 
and  soil  are  by  no  means  inimical  to  the  plant,  inasmuch  as  it 
has  lived  and  produced  crops  when  badly  cultivated  or  neglected, 
and  there  can  now  be  no  doubt  that,  under  better  treatment,  it  would 
prove  a  safe  and  profitable  investment.  Taking  each  district  as  a 
whole,  the  average  3* ield  per  acre  has  scarcely  been  sufficient  to 
cover  working  expenses,  and  most  planters  are  beginning  to  feel  that 
something  must  be  done  to  render  crops  larger  and  more  certain. 
In  some  instances,  no  doubt,  the  returns  have  been  satisfactory,  but 
such  success  has  not  been  enduring.  A  rich  soil  and  favourable 
climate  may,  for  a  few  years,  have  kept  the  plants  in  a  vigorous 
and  fruitful  condition,  but  sooner  or  later  a  change  has  come,  for 


91 

no  soil,  whatever  may  be  its  natural  fertility,  can  go  on  for  ever  pro- 
ducing exhausting  crops  such  as  the  coffee,  unless  fresh  materials  be 
added  to  it,  in  the  shape  of  suitable  manure.  Indeed,  nature  herself 
sets  us  an  example  in  this  matter  by  fertilising  the  natural  meadow 
with  the  withered  carpet  of  grass  that  clothed  its  surface,  and  the 
forest  by  dead  leaves  and  herbaceous  plants.     In  nearly  every  coffee- 
producing  country  in  the  world,  the  necessity  for  manuring  is  now 
practically  acknowledged,  and  where  it  is  not  resorted  to,  the  reckless 
system  is  adopted  of  abandoning  old  clearings  so  soon  as  they  get  un- 
productive, and  opening  fresh  soil.    Coffee  culture  in  India  is  passing 
through  a  crisis  not  unlike  what  it  did  in  Ceylon,  and  many  years 
ago  the  planters   there  began  to  see  the  necessity  for  manuring  and 
high  culture,  and  by  resorting  to  these,  undoubtedly    saved  them- 
selves from   ruin.     It  cannot,  therefore,   be  too  strongly  impressed 
on  the  planters  of  Southern  India,  that  their  fate    is,    so  to    speak, 
in   their   own  hands.     If  they  adhere  to  the  present   bad  system, 
the  poor  success  that  has  hitherto  attended   their  labours  will  still 
cling   to    them,  but  should  they  be  induced  to  adopt  a  better  mode 
of  culture,    coffee  planting  will  soon    become  fairly  remunerative, 
and  regain   the  confidence   of  the   public.     In   reviewing   existing 
systems,    I   have  pointed    out   their  defects,   and    so    it  will   suffice 
now  to  say  that  the  planter  must  manure  freely,  keep  the  ground 
cleaner,  establish  better  drainage,  prune  more  skilfully  and  regu- 
larly, and  dig  his  ground  annually.     To  carry  out  these  improve- 
ments will  cause  a   considerable   increase  in   expenditure,  and  this 
is  what  forms   such  a  barrier  to  their   adoption,  as   some  proprie- 
tors are  disinclined,  and  others  unable  to  spend   more   money.     To 
meet  this  difficulty,  I  would  suggest  the  abandonment  of  all  bad  or 
inferior  land,  for  coffee  is  not  so  very  remunerative  on  good,  that  the 
planter  c;m  afford  to  farm  what  is  bad.     On  nearly  every  estate  there 
is  from  eight  to  ten  per  cent,  of  land  so  absolutely  barren,  that  no  care 
could  render  it  productive,  and  yet,  for  appearance  sake,  it  has  been 
kept  up  year  after  year  at  great  expense.     Of  course,  there  can  be  no 
question  about  the  propriety  of  resigning  such  ground  back  to  the 
keeping  of  nature,  and  in  addition  there  will  always  be  a  proportion 
of  land  so  poor,  that  it  had  better  be  left  uncultivated.     This  would 
then  permit  of  much  more  money  being  spent  on  what  is  really 
worth  cultivating,  and  I  feel  assured  that  the  profits  of  a  property' 
thus  shorn  of  its  bad  pieces  and  well  worked  up  would  be  at  least 
satisfactory.     Tndeed,  I  would  even  go  a  step  farther  than  this,  and 


92 

recommend  the  man  who  has  opened  out  three  times  as  much  land  as 
he  has  capital  to  cultivate,  to  abandon  two-thirds  of  it,  for  poverty  in 
the  planter  means  bad  culture  on  the  estate,  and  one  acre  well 
taken  care  of  will  be  more  profitable  than  ten  neglected.  The  pre- 
sent indeed,  apart  altogether  from  the  ravages  of  the  borer,  is 
a  most  critical  time  for  coffee  culture  in  Southern  India.  Other 
coffee-producing  countries,  both  in  the  East  and  West,  are  year  by 
year  increasing  their  exports  of  the  famous  berry,  which  has  had 
the  effect  of  causing  a  considerable  reduction  in  prices  in  the  Eng- 
lish and  continental  markets.  At  the  same  time,  the  cost  of  labour 
and  expenses  generally  here  are  increasing  and  likely  to  increase, 
while  the  average  yield  per  acre  remains  stationary  or  grows  less. 
Unless,  therefore,  the  Indian  planter  can  increase  his  crops  and  profits 
by  an  improved  system  of  culture,  he  must  inevitably  ere  long  be 
driven  vanquished  from  the  field.  It  seems  quite  certain  that  the 
prices  that  have  for  some  years  been  got  for  coffee  will  never  be 
realised  again ;  but  ou  the  other  hand,  there  seems  no  reason  to  anti- 
cipate that  they  will  ever  be  much  lower  than  they  are  at  present* 
I  have  already  spoken  fully  of  the  place  which  India  occupies 
amongst  other  great  coffee-growing  countries,  and  it  only  remains  to 
be  said  here,  that  she  is  perfectly  able  to  hold  her  position,  provided 
her  planters  will  be  wise  in  time,  and  not  defer  improvements  until 
ruin  is  staring  them  in  the  face. 

With  regard  to  the  ravages  of  the  borer,  although  I  believe 
that  the  insect  will  never  leave  the  coffee  districts,  and  will  always 
be  ready  to  prey  on  badly  cultivated  and  unshaded  trees,  still  there 
can  be  no  doubt  that  the  recent  disastrous  invasion  is  of  an  extra- 
ordinary and  transient  nature,  and  will,  even  if  left  in  the  hands  of 
nature,  gradually  pass  awa}'.  Past  experience  of  similar  outbreaks 
of  destructive  insects  in  other  parts  of  the  globe  lead  us  to  expect 
this ;  but  at  the  same  time  it  is  the  planter's  duty  to  do  all  he  can 
to  exterminate  the  pest ;  and  to  adopt  such  measures  as  will  hereafter 
keep  the  enemy  at  a  distance.  Enough  lias  been  said  regarding 
expedients  for  checking  the  ravages  of  the  borer  on  infested  estates, 
and  experience  has  shewn  that  in  shade  and  high  culture  we  have 
preventives  that  leave  nothing  further  to  be  desired. 

In  conclusion,  I  would  briefly  say,  that  I  entertain  confi- 
dent hopes  of  the  success  of  coffee  culture  in  Southern  India,  and 
by  success,  I  mean  a  fair  return  for  outlay,  and    not  the  extra- 


93 

vagant  profits  which  have  been  promised  by  some  and  expected  by 
too  many.  To  secure  this,  however,  the  planter  must  take  the 
proper  course,  and  he  is  not  asked  to  adopt  a  system  untried  and 
chimerical,  but  one  which  has  for  years  been  subjected  to  the  test 
of  experiment,  and  is  based  on  those  general  principles  that  guide 
the  cultivator  of  the  soil  in  every  civilised  part  of  the  world. 

And  now  I  must  express  my  thanks  to  the  Government  of 
Madras,  and  the  Commissioner  of  Mysore  and  Coorg,  for  the  unfettered 
manner  in  which  I  was  permitted  to  conduct  this  investigation. 
Such  liberty  has  greatly  facilitated  my  labours,  and  made  me  anxious 
to  merit  their  confidence.  I  am  also  much  indebted  to  the  Collector 
of  Malabar,  the  Superintendent  of  Coorg,  and  the  Deputy  Superin- 
tendent of  Hassan,  for  the  assistance  which  they  gave  me  in  collecting 
information,  and  in  travelling  through  their  districts.  Nothing 
either  could  have  exceeded  the  attention  and  courtesy  of  their  sub- 
ordinates. Mr.  Underwood,  the  Deputy  Collector  of  Manantoddy, 
was  particularly  zealous  in  his  assistance,  and  to  name  any  in  Coorg 
or  M3rsore,  where  all  were  so  attentive,  would  be  invidious.  To  the 
planters  and  other  gentlemen  who  furnished  me  with  much  valuable 
information,  and  invariably  received  me  with  kindness,  I  would  also 
record  my  thanks,  and  sincerely  trust  that  the  result  of  this  inquiry 
may  be  to  help  them  to  win  that  success,  which  their  industry  and 
enterprise  so  well  deserve. 

GEORGE  BIDIE,  m.b., 

Commissioner  for  Investigating  the  ravages 

of  the  Borer  in  Coffee  Estates. 


PUBLIC  DEPARTMENT. 


Read  the  following  letter  from  Surgeon  G.  Bidie,  m.  b. 
(Here  enter  3rd  August  1868.) 


Order  thereon,  19th  June  1869,  No.  837. 

The  foregoing   is   the   report   submitted    by   Surgeon   George 

Bidie,  M.  b.,  and  contains   the  result  of  the  investigation   which  he 

was  deputed  to  make  into  the  injury  caused  by  the  ravages  of  the 

Borer  insect  to  the  coffee  trees  in  Mysore,  Coorg,  and  the  Wynaad. 

2.  In  order  to  prevent  further  climatic  deterioration  by  forest 
clearance  in  situations  not  suited  for  coffee  culture,  to  regulate  the 
natural  drainage  of  the  country  in  the  interests  of  the  rice  cultiva- 
tion, and  to  maintain  the  fertility  of  the  coffee  zone,  Dr.  Bidie,  at 
page  15  of  his  report,  suggests  that  "  in  future  when  application  is 
made  for  coffee  land,  the  chief  Revenue  Officer  and  Executive 
Engineer  of  the  District,  along  with  the  Conservator  of  Forests 
should  inspect  the  block  selected,  and  ascertain  whether  or  not  it  is 
suited  for  the  purpose  ;"  and  at  page  29  he  lays  down  certain  rules 
specifying  the  situations  in  which  he  considers  now  existing  forest 
should  be  preserved. 

3.  The  Government  admit  the  importance  of  placing  all  possible 
restrictions  on  unnecessary  felling,  and  resolve  to  refer  Dr.  Bidie's 
suggestions  for  the  opinions  of  the  Board  of  Revenue  and  the 
Conservator  of  Forests. 

4.  Fifty  copies  of  the  report  will  be  furnished  to  Dr.  Bidie  for 
private  distribution,  and  two  hundred  copies  will  be  forwarded  to 
Messrs.  Gantz  Brothers,  who  will  be  requested  to  sell  them  on 
commission  at  Rupees  2  per  copy. 

5.  The  Accountant  General  is  requested  to  report  what  the 
entire  cost  of  Dr.  Bidie's  investigation  has  been,  and  the  Govern- 
ment consider  that  the  time  spent  by  Dr.  Bidie  in  the  territories 
of  Mysore,  Coorg,  and  Madras  respectively,  would  be  the  fairest 
principle  of  division  to  adopt  in  apportioning  the  cost  among  the 
three  Governments. 

6.  The  Government  have  perused  with  much  interest  Dr. 
Bidie's  able  and  exhaustive  report,  and  request  that  gentleman  to 
accept  their  best  thanks  for  it  and  for  the  labour  which  he  has 
expended  in  the  investigation. 

(True  Extract.) 

(Signed)    R.  A.  DALYELL, 

Acting  Secretary  to  Government. 


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